We have been getting a lot of queries since our quiz plans were announced about Raynaud’s and Scleroderma Ireland. Meadhbh Cleary, who sits on the board of directors of the charity and also set up the North Dublin Support Group, gives us a brief insight into the condition.
Have you ever noticed your own or a friend’s fingers turning blue or white in the cold? The condition is called Raynaud’s Phenomenon and it’s more than just poor circulation. It happens when the immune system restricts blood flow to the extremities, including the fingers, toes, lips, ears and nose. For most people, Raynaud’s Phenomenon is an isolated condition. However, in rare cases, Raynaud’s is a symptom of a more dangerous disease, known as Scleroderma.
Scleroderma is an autoimmune condition that causes the body to over produce collagen, making the skin and organs harden and stop working. There is no cure and doctors can only try to slow the condition as it appears in various parts of the body.
People who are diagnosed with Scleroderma not only have to cope with extreme changes to their physical abilities and appearance, they also have to live with an unpredictable medical condition that even most GPs don’t understand. Most sufferers are diagnosed in their 50s and 60s and feel alone, scared and confused. Raynaud’s & Scleroderma Ireland are working to help people with these conditions to to get access to medical experts, to connect with other people in the same position and to understand how to live in a way that gives them a good quality of life. I know because I’m one of the people who has benefited from the work they do. If you want to help me help others, please join me at Club 51’s table quiz on the 10th July in Castlebar.
For more information on Raynaud’s and Scleroderma Ireland, visit their website and Facebook Page. And just like any charity, awareness is key. So please don’t forget to like, share, follow and retweet!