Determined dancer thanks Sheffield ward staff

Yasmin Barker presenting the cheque to Dr Muthana Al-Obaidi
Yasmin Barker presenting the cheque to Dr Muthana Al-Obaidi
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A schoolgirl from Sheffield who suffers from chronic arthritis has handed hundreds of pounds to hospital staff - whose vital treatment means she can still enjoy her favourite hobby.

Despite suffering the condition which means her joints seize up, stiffen and ache, Yasmin Barker still regularly swims and attends tap, ballet and street dance lessons.

The nine-year-old Ridgeway Primary School pupil needs medication and is a familiar face at Sheffield Children’s Hospital, where the rheumatology and physiotherapy teams help her cope with her symptoms.

Yasmin’s grandparents Keith and Beryl Barker – both keen sailors – raised £500 through a sponsored dinghy trip, and Yasmin presented the cheque to her favourite rheumatology staff, Dr Daniel Hawley, Dr Muthana Al-Obaidi, and nurses Jenny Edgerton and Helen Lee.

The schoolgirl was diagnosed with arthritis aged two. The first sign of the illness was a swelling in her knee, and since then the condition has largely affected her knee and ankle joints.

Mum Stacey Barker said: “Yasmin suffers mostly in the mornings with her joints – they can be stiff and painful when getting out of bed.

“She manages to join in most activities, but sometimes it’s difficult because of the pain and inflammation.

“But she refuses to let her arthritis hold her back.”

The money will go towards the rheumatology department’s Nice Things campaign, which uses funds to pay for group activities, fun days out and a Christmas party for patients.

Yasmin’s condition – oligoarticular juvenile idiopathic arthritis – affects one in about 1,000 children.