It was great to open Wales' first Crohn's and Colitis Swansea Walk from Blackpill through Mumbles with Rebecca Evans AM. There were 250 walkers compared to just 1200 in the whole of London so Swansea is punching above its weight.
It was a lovely day to stroll along Swansea's breathtaking water-front to support this little-understood condition which affects more people than Parkinson's Disease and Multiple Sclerosis combined. One in 200 people has inflammatory bowel disease IBD which is a third of a million people - more than the entire city and county of Swansea.
The life-long condition which causes ulceration and inflammation of the colon has a debilitating effect that can cause diarrhoea, severe pain and extreme fatigue. It effects people's work and education and makes them suffer physically and emotionally.
We need to raise awareness, provide more IBD nurses and get faster diagnosis across the UK. Meanwhile we need to work for a cure as at the moment we just have drugs that help manage the symptoms.
I will be setting up an all party parliamentary group in Parliament and Rebecca Evans will be championing Crohn's and Colitus In the Assembly in particular in her Public Health Bill including the need for more public toilets.
We need to establish a public access right to toilets in bars, restaurants and large stores to ensure none of us are caught short, in particular those with IBD.
After talking the talk and walking the walk myself and Rebecca got our Crohn's and Colitis medals. I then sang "Ain't Misbehaving" with the Dixielanders Trad Jazz Band!