A couple of months ago, the beautiful Tina shared her story of living with Ichthyosis in India on my blog. Her story was heartbreaking - and many of you were moved by her words. Here's an excerpt of Tina's story in her own words:
"At the age of 5 all children started to go to school but I could not as the schools never wanted to give admission to a child who was terrible to look at, I don’t remember anyone carry me as a child, or speak kindly. I did not have friends as the mothers used to tell their children to keep away from my as I had a terrible disease and they would get affected. I had lots of problems as the skin used to scale all over from scalp on to my shoulders and arms and I had to hear those unsightly remarks My only friends were the stray cats and dogs and pigeon that I rescued when they were injured. I took solace in these animals, and as I grew up books and music and church was my entertainment. I used to dread going out because of the stares and the rude remarks. I was always and still considered an outcast by some. There are people who will not touch anything that I touch. They will not eat when I offer and will not like to offer food to me. Parents do not like me to hold their babies. In fact many used to say I have leprosy. I have friends a few now who are very supportive."
Tina does it tough with her Ichthyosis - it's medically, socially and financially challenging. She has been excluded her whole life and three quarters of her wage goes toward her medical costs. The heat in India is particularly difficult for her condition. She's told me that people are afraid to shake her hands, and wrote that mothers wouldn't let her play with other children because they thought she had leprosy. Ichthyosis is not contagious.
This week, Tina's mother passed away this week after being bedridden with vascular dementia. Her mother raised Tina alone while working as a medical missionary. Tina spent a long time caring for her mother, which placed greater financial strain on Tina. I am so sad for Tina - her mother was her rock.
To lighten her burden a little, I've set up a My Cause page, to raise money to buy Tina a cooling vest and some creams - and send them to India. Please read her story and consider making a donation that you can afford. Donations can be made in any currency.
If you're unable to make a donation, please consider sharing the link to the donation page with your networks. Or you can leave a message of support in a comment below - I will make sure she sees them.
Yesterday I created the My Cause page. (Prior to doing so, my good friend Friday wrote a blog post about Tina - thank you so much, Friday.) I set the cause target for $300. In less than two hours, it exceeded that amount by almost double. To those who have donated, thank you so much for your incredible kindness and generosity. I know that the money you've donated will benefit Tina. She has had a difficult life suffering from Ichthyosis in India, and this fundraiser is the least I can do to make her life a little easier. Ichthyosis is difficult to live with, and I cannot imagine not receiving the support, compassion and financial assistance needed to keep well.
I'll keep you updated about Tina's progress.
Thank you. I am overwhelmed by your generosity.
To Tina - I send you my love and sympathy. I hope we can help you in a small way.