Meet Harrison. Or, as many of his friends and family know him, Mr H.
Harrison is a bright, bubbly, 6-year-old boy. He loves Lego, superheros, and playing (mostly, happily) with his big brother, Miller. He’s also a mad Essendon AFL supporter.
Harrison suffers from a very rare autoimmune disease called Scleroderma, typically characterised by thickening or hardening of the skin. Harrison is the youngest Australian ever diagnosed with Scleroderma, which affects around 5000 Australian’s every year. Not only does Harrison have this rare disease but the rarest form: Disabling Pansclerotic Morphea.
Harrison is only one of two in the World who have it at a similar age.
There is no cure.
While easily taken for granted, our skin is our largest organ and body’s first line of defence. It protects us, regulates our body temperature, rids our body of toxins and prevents chemical and waste build-up. When our skin is healthy, happy and comfortable, so are we.
Scleroderma impacts how any healthy child Harrison’s age would spend their days.
Harrison can’t cope playing in the sun for periods of time like his friends, his skin is tight and restrictive particularly across his face, hands and feet. He overheats quickly. Daily medication needed to manage his condition lowers his immune system. This means he gets infections or viruses easily, but with very few obvious symptoms.
Despite this, Harrison is one of the happiest boys you’ll meet. He never complains about what he goes through daily, or throughout frequent hospital visits. Rather, he smiles each day and plays to the best of his ability.
Please support the “Get Behind The Beard” campaign and help raise much needed funds for Scleroderma research, so a cure can be found for this terrible disease.