The Charcot-Marie-Tooth UK ‘Bear of Care’ Visits James Calvert Spence College

Jun 14

Recently, we received a visit from a very special bear. The Bear of Care, is a mascot for Charcot-Marie-Tooth UK.
The organisation raises awareness of, and supports those with, the condition that’s known as CMT.

The Bear came to visit us as a guest of JCSC Adminstrator, Janey Crisp. Janey can usually be found working on reception at our Acklington Road site.

A few alterations to her workspace here and to the areas of school she works in, make her job easier as someone who herself has CMT.

Ms Crisp was diagnosed with the condition that affects one in 2,500 people as a child. Like others with CMT, nerve damage has made the muscles in her hands and feet weaker.

Charcot-Marie-Tooth UK asked Ms Crisp if she’d like to a host visit from the Bear of Care. When she agreed, she was really keen that the mascot got a real insight into her life both at home and at school.

In particular, she wanted to raise awareness of CMT among our students who she knows are often curious about her condition.

The CMT motto ‘together we are stronger’ really resonated with us here at JCSC and when he came to visit in April, the Bear quickly slotted into JCSC life.

He got to work answering the telephone on reception. He introduced himself to important people like Mr Rodgers, and our Governor for Accessibility Robert Arckless. And along the way, he helped everyone he met to learn a little more about what it’s like living with CMT.

We’re pleased to report that the Bear appeared to have lots of fun sampling JCSC life.

From joining students in science lessons to picking up some serious skateboarding skills, you can see what he got up to in this little video we made:

Some facts about CMT:

  • CMT is named after the surnames of three 3 doctors who first described CMT in 1886: Jean-Martin Charcot, Pierre Marie and Howard Tooth.
  • The condition damages the peripheral nerves.
  • Some genetic mutations are hereditary, meaning they can be passed down from a parent to their child. CMT can be passed from parent to child meaning it is a heriditary genetic mutation, but sometimes the mutation happens randomly before someone is born.
  • The peripheral nerves run from the spinal cord to the extremities. They pass commands from the brain to the muscles in the arms and legs. They also pass information to the brain about sensations including pain, or things that are hot and cold to touch.
  • Because of damage to these nerves, people with CMT may find that their muscles become weaker over the years, particulary in their hands and feet. The sense of feeling can also become numb in the same areas.

To find out more about CMT, visit