Thanks for taking the time to visit my JustGiving page.
As you know our eldest son, Tom, has suffered with chronic eczema for the last three years. As a baby he also had the condition, and as new parents we remember vividly times when he would stick to his car seat and his skin would peel off, or we had to tape socks around his hands to prevent him scratching his skin off.
To try to describe it at its worst to someone who has never had it, is to say:
"Imagine being bitten all over your body by itching flies, then you scratch so much that your skin rips off or it just catches on your clothing and you are left with a body that is so raw that daily life is like having perpetual sunburn and the slightest amount of clothing makes you cry...and that is after you've stuck to your bed sheets or bled all over your school shirt."
At whatever time of life you have it, as a baby, a teenager or an adult, the cycle of itching, the weeping skin, the hatred of your own body never goes away. There are the masses of creams you need to cover your body in, the pills and antihistamines you need to take, not to mention the occasional need for prednisolone (a steroid given to mums at risk of premature labour to build up the lungs of their unborn babies!). Then there are the infections, the staph that accumulates on the skin, the fact your skin is a barrier and when that barrier breaks down you're prone to infections such as colds, pneumonia, strep etc, this creates absence from school and hospital stays and the need to keep away from friends and relatives with colds and coughs when your eczema is at its worst.
Add to that the fact that you can't go swimming, you can't use deodorants or shower gels, you feel very self concious of your body and the continuous questions, you get bullied at school...and you just want to be a normal teenager!!
Richard and I are trying to raise at least £500 to enable the eczema society to continue to try to spread awareness, to provide counselling for young teens in particular who are at a very vulnerable time in their lives, and to try to help them discover causes.
The Five Peaks Challenge is set over a 12 hour period in the Lake District. We have to Crinkle Crags, Bow Fell, Esk Pike, Great End and Scarfell Pike in the same 12 hour period.
We would be SO grateful if you would dig deep and sponsor us to do this, maybe a £1 a peak or suchlike. ANY amount however big or small would be so wonderfully appreciated so that other teenagers don't have to go through as much agony as our boy has.
PS: He is currently doing VERY well however, but wouldn't be doing so without both the NE society and our wonderful consultant dermatologist and eczema nurse at the teenage eczema clinic at the JR in Oxford!