Northamptonshire father praises award-tipped Jennifer Aniston film for raising awareness of ‘chronic pain’

David Kelly and his daughter Julia, who suffered from a chronic pain condition. David still runs the charity she set up - A way With Pain.
David Kelly and his daughter Julia, who suffered from a chronic pain condition. David still runs the charity she set up - A way With Pain.

The father of a Northamptonshire charity worker who took her own life following a lifetime of chronic pain is hoping a new Jennifer Aniston film will help raise the profile of the condition.

David Kelly’s daughter Julia suffered so badly from the condition that by the age of 37 she could barely tie her shoelaces.

Her chronic pain was caused by injuries sustained in two car accidents and led to her taking her own life on November 2.

But now Mr Kelly, who lives in Great Doddington and runs A Way with Pain, the charity his daughter founded, is hoping Jennifer Aniston’s hotly tipped new drama Cake will raise awareness of the condition.

In the film, former Friends star Aniston plays Claire Bennett, who also suffers chronic pain following a car accident.

Mr Kelly, who was invited to a preview screening of the movie by its producers, said: “I think the film is going to be very powerful because it contains such a big star.

“It’s creating a story that is going to help a lot of people.”

Mr Kelly vowed to keep A Way with Pain running after his daughter’s death.

So far the charity has raised more than £1,800 to raise awareness of the condition, which affects around one in seven people worldwide, through various fundraising events.

He also runs a website,, which Mr Kelly says has already helped several sufferers get access to information on treatments so they do not suffer in the same way his daughter did.

But he says there is not enough information out there available on chronic pain, which is defined as any severe pain that lasts longer than three or four months.

“Chronic pain affects people right across the community,” Mr Kelly said. “Employers are not aware of the condition as well as they could be.

“GPs have very little training in chronic pain, people are often reffered to pain clinics to deal with it,

“There is a whole section of people who struggle in so many ways.

“Claire (Jenifer Aniston) in the film happens to be fairly well off – but imagine if someone has got no money? You can imagine how difficult life becomes.”

Mr Kelly said the film was difficult to watch as there were a lot of parallels between his daughter’s life and Jennifer Aniston’s character.

“It is very close to my own daughter’s life which was filled with pain.” He said.

“It is also significant because Claire’s condition was triggered by a car accident just like Julia.”

Mr Kelly is set to run a charity golf day at Overstone Park Hotel Golf and Leisure Resort in Northampton for A Way with Pain.

This week Mr Kelly donated £1,670 to a team from the University of Northampton and Northampton General Hospital to fund a two-year research project into pain in the big toe joint.