Sunday, 30 September 2012

Scleroderma and the Scleroderma Society

I ummed and erred for a while about whether I’d made the right choice in terms of charity. My last fundraiser was for a much bigger charity which I think a lot more people could identify with but I sometimes think that these bigger charities, while they do a huge amount of worthwhile and important work, steal the limelight from other, smaller, charities who struggle to do equally important work. It was partly this that made me decide to support the Scleroderma Society .

The fact that few people will have heard of the disease, let alone the charity, make my fundraising target extremely ambitious but I’m keen to do everything I can to meet the target, starting with explaining a little more about the condition and the work that the charity does.
What is Scleroderma?
Scleroderma (which comes from the Greek meaning ‘hard skin’) is a connective tissue disease that affects the skin and other major internal organs. Excess collagen is laid down in these organs which in turn results in scarring and reduced normal function of the affected organs. There are two main groups of scleroderma, and within each group there are further subsets.

1. Systemic sclerosis - the systemic form of scleroderma, which affects the internal organs as well as the skin.
2. Localised scleroderma - a type of scleroderma that affects specific areas of skin and underlying tissues, but does not involve the internal organs.
What do the Scleroderma Society do?
The Scleroderma Society was founded to help support people who have been diagnosed with scleroderma. They support thousands of people through their helpline, forums and publications as well as helping to fund vital research into the condition.

Their freephone helpline is run entirely by volunteers, the majority of whom have scleroderma themselves. They can't offer medical advice but can point you in the right direction for further information. They can also offer a place where you can talk to someone who really understands scleroderma and how it can impact on you, family members and friends.

How will my donation help the Scleroderma Society?
  • £10 will support the helpline for a day
  • £20 will supply a hospital with scleroderma information for a year
  • £50 will help support a local group
  • £100 will enable them to contact all MP's interested in health to update them on scleroderma
For more information about scleroderma or the work of the society I encourage you to visit their website. You will find a link on the right hand side of the website.

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