Clare Fray

Clare Fray

British dancer who developed an incurable disease from a wasp sting
Country: Great Britain

Content:
  1. Biography of Claire Fry
  2. Introduction
  3. Career as a Dancer
  4. The Wasp Sting Incident
  5. The Effects of the Disease
  6. The Journey Towards Acceptance
  7. Advocacy and Awareness

Biography of Claire Fry

Introduction

Claire Fry is a well-known British dancer who earned a rare and incurable disease from a wasp sting. She has been diagnosed with Alpha-1 Antitrypsin Deficiency, a condition that causes a severe lack of protein needed to protect the lungs, potentially leading to liver damage. Despite her condition, Fry continues to take care of herself as best as she can.

Clare Fray

Career as a Dancer

Claire Fry, 44, has appeared in numerous music videos for popular artists, including 'The Spice Girls' and Julian Lennon. She has also worked as a choreographer for Kylie Minogue and performed at the closing ceremony of the 1990 FIFA World Cup in Rome. Fry says, "I have always been a blonde in a bikini and in great shape because I danced non-stop."

Clare Fray

The Wasp Sting Incident

Two years ago, while sorting through her old costumes in the attic, Claire Fry was stung by a wasp. She knew it could be dangerous as she had previously experienced unknown allergies. Her tongue swelled without any apparent reason, and her doctor attributed it to household allergies. Her mother gave her an antihistamine, but her tongue swelled even more, and a rash appeared on her neck. She was taken to the hospital, and doctors decided to administer adrenaline due to her labored breathing. Fry says, "After that, I felt like I had consumed 20 cans of Red Bull." She was then transferred to a hospital in Redditch, where she spent the night. Blood tests later revealed a genetic disorder called Alpha-1 Antitrypsin Deficiency, for which there is currently no cure.

The Effects of the Disease

Alpha-1 Antitrypsin Deficiency can cause symptoms such as shortness of breath, wheezing, and coughing. The progression of the disease varies, with some experiencing mild discomfort until their 70s and others facing severe lung damage in their 20s or 30s. Fry, who spent a significant portion of her dance career in smoky bars and clubs, already had compromised lungs, making her condition even more critical. She recalls that in the past, coughing fits and respiratory infections would last for weeks. When she complained about this to her mother, she dismissed it as nothing serious. Only now does Fry realize that her mother had similar issues but never considered them significant. Additionally, an allergy test revealed that Fry has a 0.001% predisposition to wasp venom. Further examination showed low levels of antitrypsin, a protein produced by the liver to protect the lungs.

The Journey Towards Acceptance

It took some time before Fry's Alpha-1 Antitrypsin Deficiency was confirmed, and she was referred to a genetic consultant who painted a grim picture. However, to everyone's surprise, Fry's lungs were found to be in relatively good condition. The doctors were astonished, and Fry believes that her overall good health and self-care, including regular dancing, played a significant role in maintaining her lung function.

Advocacy and Awareness

Currently, Fry is actively involved with the organization 'Alpha-1 Alliance,' which aims to raise awareness about the genetic condition that has affected her. In England, there are only two medical centers in Birmingham and Cambridge where patients can receive specialist consultations and assistance, often requiring them to travel long distances. In December 2013, Fry and other members of the 'Alpha-1 Alliance' even protested on Downing Street, just a few minutes away from the Parliament building, in an effort to reach the government and demand action to improve the situation.

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