A KIDDERMINSTER sufferer of a painful condition known as “suicide disease” has helped set up a support group for other local people living with the illness.

Mark Steadman has organised a session, which will be held next Monday, with fellow local sufferer Andrea Locke, after receiving an overwhelming response from other Wyre Forest people who have the rare condition when The Shuttle told of his plight last year .

Mr Steadman has been battling with trigeminal neuralgia – a disorder which causes episodes of intense pain in the face – for about four years but is now making progress after receiving pioneering treatment that could reduce the pain for up to ten years .

Since featuring in The Shuttle last September, the married father of three has returned to work full time and is now able to drive again.

The disorder causes episodes of intense pain in the face and is often referred to as “suicide disease”, as the pain is so excruciating sufferers have been known to take their own lives.

For Mr Steadman, a simple kiss on the cheek from his wife and children left him in excruciating agony but he is now enjoying the simple things again, such as brushing his teeth and shaving.

“Following my operation back in September things have continued to improve and are going extremely well,” he said.

“My consultant is really pleased with my progress and says there is an 80 per cent chance of being pain free in ten years’ time .

“I’m back at work full time and fully able to do things that were a struggle before .

We had the best Christmas in ye ars and the children are pleased to have their dad back up and running.

“I’v e been able to go outside in the cold and windy conditions , brush my teeth, touch my face and kiss without fear of starting the pain again. I’ve been able to fully participate in activities that I would have avoided.

“I still try to raise awareness of the condition and offer support to other sufferers online .

I managed to speak with several peo-ple in the local area following the article and all said they’d be interested in meeting up .”

The support group starts at 7pm at the Station Inn, Farfield, Kidderminster, and is for anyone who wants support or ad-vice on trigeminal neuralgia.

“This could be the sufferer , carer or family,” Mr Steadman explained.

“It will be an informal session, where people can share their own experience and exchange tips and ideas .”