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Raising awareness of Crohn’s disease


Gail, a mum of two, wants to raise awareness on the invisible illness that has a huge impact on her daughter.

I recently met a mum who wanted to share her story with me. As I sat opposite her in the coffee shop I could feel her pain, even though she was smiling and had a twinkle in her eye. As well as feeling her pain, I could feel her passion too.

She was telling me about her daughter, Isabelle who started to miss a lot of school when she became ill at seven or eight and three years later she was diagnosed with Crohns Disease.

Isabelle’s mum, Gail, told me how she put a care plan in place for her at school and arranged a meeting with her daughter’s form tutor, SENCO officer, medical officer and headmistress, where every aspect of her care and medical needs were discussed and written down.

Gail spoke in the meeting about the total unfairness of attendance awards where pupils receive weekly treats for 100% attendance. How the school was literally rewarding children, who actually at that age have very little part to play in being responsible for getting to school, for turning up every day and being fortunate enough not to have a chronic illness. Gail’s suggestion was an “attitude to learning” award for children who worked hard and wanted to learn – but because of circumstances beyond their control found it impossible to achieve full attendance.

Gail, a mum of two, wants to raise awareness on the invisible illness that has a huge impact on her daughter and has written a book called ‘Rodney Meadow-Hopper, the hare who didn’t care’. Her aim is to get children to talk about how they feel living with an invisible illness. Inspired to write the book because she’s witness many children saying they are fine when they’re clearly not.

Read full article by Sam Billingham here.

Posted on: October 17 2019

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