AT only 10 years old, JJ Smith, from Trowbridge, knows all about suffering - and giving something back.

The youngster, who is living with Crohns disease, even dressed up as a giant poo to take part in his town's carnival and recently completed a karate Sparathon, where his karate club took on kickboxers from his brother Shayne's club. JJ is determined to raise money for Crohns & Colitis UK, after he was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease in 2017.

Crohn's is a type of inflammatory bowel disease whose symptoms including abdominal pain, severe stomach upsets, fever, and weight loss which is an inflammatory bowel disease.

JJ, who has been doing karate for six years, said: “I wanted to raise money for my condition because they have been looking out for me. I loved the sparathon where you have to fight in rounds, and getting to see what other people know and combine our qualities together. I have passed my black belt grading too.

“It used to be quite bad, my condition, but I was on a six week milkshake diet and it calmed the effects down.

“It can be hard having Crohns as a kid because some adults don’t understand it well and when I get tired quickly during a flare up they think I’m just being lazy. But I’m not.

"It’s also hard when people think I’m not doing as well as other kids even though they probably don’t realise I’m in pain. I’ve learnt as long as I am trying my best then that’s all I focus on now."

Kime Karate Club in Westbury, where JJ trains in shotokan karate, took on Dragons Lair MMA Melksham, where JJ's brother Shayne trains in kickboxing, for the sparathon. A T-shirt for those taking part was sponsored by club 24 fitness in Westbury.

Shayne, eight, said: “It went really well. We had to fight some people who were strong and fast. My brother has the condition so we wanted to help. We got a medal for taking part but when you have to punch the bag it’s tiring.”

During half term JJ went to the charity's head office to present them with a cheque for £1,000 from his fundraising efforts.

He added: “Crohn’s & Colitis UK have supported me loads. I feel understood by the people there and I have found so many useful videos and tips and I always feel like I can use the page if I want information. That’s why I decided to fundraise for them.

“I have enjoyed doing lots of things for the charity and it makes me feel good. I have also been able to involve my friend Josh who has supported me with loads of these events. My brother Shayne helped me organise all of these events and he has taken part in them all too.

“I also have a vlog called My Crohns Journey on facebook where I talk about things that have been hard for me or things that I have enjoyed. I hoped that by setting this up I could raise awareness of Crohn’s & Colitis UK and what having Crohns means to me.”

Mum Kayleigh Eaton said: I’m really proud of them and it was a nice day, very rewarding but tiring. JJ condition can make him tired but the adrenaline of the day pushed him through.When he was first diagnosed it was difficult to find things suitable for his age so his blog can help other people from his point of view as Crohns is a whole other ball game to make the information suitable for his age. We would like to thank everyone who took part."

Leanne Downie, supporter experience manager at Crohn’s & Colitis UK, said; “We loved having JJ and his family come into the office and meet us all. We are blown away with all his hard work and incredible fundraising.

"The money raised will enable Crohns and Colitis to do vital new research, answer more calls from people needing help and provide patient packs to hospitals across the UK. We want to say a massive thank you to JJ as such an inspiring and dedicated supporter – we can’t wait to see what other ideas you come up with.”

Right now, over 300,000 people in the UK are living with Crohns, a lifelong disease that many people have never heard of. The real number could be almost double that. Because of the stigma and misunderstanding surrounding these disease, thousands of people are suffering in silence.

To find out more ways you can get involved with the charity visit: