Melbourn’s Heidi uses own battle with lupus to help others

Heidi Clark (centre) with her mum Deborah (right) and assistant Stef Cooper. Picture: Clive Porter.

Heidi Clark (centre) with her mum Deborah (right) and assistant Stef Cooper. Picture: Clive Porter. - Credit: Archant

A professional dancer who had her career snatched away from her when she was struck down with a debilitating and incurable disease is now helping others diagnosed with the same condition.

Heidi Clark, who lives in Melbourn, was diagnosed with lupus 15 years ago, which means her immune system attacks and inflames healthy cells, tissue and organs, causing fatigue and chronic joint pain. Heidi faces the possibility of needing to use a wheelchair later in life.

Heidi was a professional Latin American dancer who was taught by Strictly Come Dancing judge Shirley Ballas. She said: “My wonderful career was snatched out of my hands.

She told the Crow: “I can be reasonably well one day and confined to my bed the next. I am prescribed over 30 tablets to help fight the condition every day, and have been in hospital so many times that I have lost count.

“My family have been massively supportive, and without this support I probably wouldn’t have coped.”

Heidi now tours the area, presenting talks on lupus to help others to come to terms with the illness, and her next talk will be at a ‘men’s breakfast’ at Foxton Village Hall tomorrow at 8.30am.

Heidi is also fighting back by getting involved in her family’s two businesses – a well-established hairdressing salon at The Moor in Melbourn and a craft shop which opened at Phillimore’s Garden Centre in the village in May.

Most Read

Creations opened after villagers said they missed the services of the craft outlet which had previously been there.

Heidi said: “Our aim is to inspire everyone who walks through the door to create something special from the vast range of crafting items we stock.

“Our outlook for customers is ageless, and we attempt to infuse ideas to cater for their varied interests. In turn it assists them to meet up with like-minded people.

“With the help of the local public, we have been successful in setting up our new project, which I look upon as a community asset, and in itself plays an essential part of village life, where people can linger and chat to others about their hobbies.

“With our exciting and varied stocks of yarn, fabrics, haberdashery and gifts, locals no longer need to travel out of the village to acquire these. We also conduct weekly craft classes for all age groups to enjoy.”