Amy at age 19 years, was a competitor in the recent HBF Run for a Reason event that annually helps raise funds for a number of charities, us included.
That I retell her story here is to share with you, the motivation we see and feel from time to time. Our mailings, Arthritis Today magazine, our seminars, self-management courses, and efforts to establish a Chair in Musculoskeletal Medicine at UWA, all help raise funds and inform you, our readers.
We do these things because we want to ease pain, to find a cure for arthritis and its many cousins. And we especially do these things because of people like Amy.
Amy was about 10 years of age when her fatigue, headaches, joint pain and skin rashes were diagnosed as systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), one of over one hundred autoimmune diseases. At first, life was liveable until her condition worsened, she developed kidney disease, had to start chemotherapy, her white blood cell count plummeted and she was dangerously exposed to infections.
And the worst happened… It was just a sore throat, a small event for you and me but to Amy, it was too much and her frail body crashed. An ambulance rushed her to PMH. Septicaemia (blood poisoning) had set in and the IC unit elected to place her in a medically induced coma that was to last six weeks.
Amy survived two cardiac arrests, lungs and kidneys that mal-functioned and a severe lack of oxygen that implied a risk of brain damage and to her limbs. If ‘luck’ is the right word, she escaped brain damage but lost two feet, one hand and fingers of the other as a result of poor blood supply, and of course, lupus.
That’s her legs (and artificial feet) in the photo that carried her for 4kms in 51 minutes raising $832 along the way.
We all have various ailments, age does that to us. A sore knee or bad back, pain in the shoulders, gout in our toes. Life gets hard, sometimes we complain until I met Amy who was just starting life. She developed lupus, and lost her legs…
‘…I cried because I had no shoes, until I met a man who had no feet.’
My appeal is to ask you dear reader, to consider leaving a bequest, a gift that costs you nothing in your lifetime. Bequests are a long term source of funds paying for research that has a lot to discover, especially how to develop a drug that might prevent another lovely young girl from losing her feet.
Larger bequests, and major gifts left to The Arthritis Foundation Incorporated of WA are invested such as to preserve the capital using income to fund vital research into bone and joint disease.
For further information, call Trish Broderick on (08) 9388 4436.