A former nurse who has to be fed through a tube in her neck has bravely set up a ‘superfood’ juice bar charity to help others.
Cheryl Palmer has a genetic condition that means most of her intestines have had to be surgically removed.
The 39-year-old single mum spends 16 hours a day connected to a feeding line, carrying the special liquid that goes directly into her bloodstream around in a hefty backpack.
The only foods she can swallow are soups and vegetable or fruit juices - but even then she is limited to half a cupful, three times a day.
“Because I’m so restricted in what I can eat, obviously the taste of the food and its nutritionally content, is really important to me,” she said.
In February Cheryl’s degenerating health forced her to retire from the community nursing job she adored.
Determined not to be idle, she bought a blender and with the help of her 14-year-old daughter Clodagh began experimenting with different smoothie and juice recipes at their Crownhill home.
“We found some amazing combinations. They were so good that I wanted to share them with others.”
Despite feeling constantly tired and dehydrated, Cheryl doggedly completed a nutrition course.She then approached the Shenley Wood Extra Care village for retired people and offered to set up juice bar in their hall. It is also open to the public.
She said: “I make the juices on the spot and sell them for £1 a cup. All proceeds go to their Shenley Wood gym.
“The people love them - and appreciate the fact that all the superfoods are doing them good.”
The current favourite is Cheryl’s fruit and nut special - apple juice, brazil nuts, almonds and dried blueberries.
Another popular combination is beetroot, carrot and apple .
“I’ll also add whatever fruit is in season - currently it’s blackberries,which I pick myself,” said Cheryl, who has also set up a Milton Keynes branch of PINNT to give support to people on intravenous and nasal-gastric nutrition.
Meanwhile her OAP juice bar charity has grown so successful that she needs a commercial juicer and blender - and she hopes to find a kind-hearted benefactor to help.
Anybody willing to donate equipment, or wanting to know more about PINNT, can email Cheryl on foot firstname.lastname@example.org or call her on 07763 110990.