A young boy’s campaign to raise awareness of his rare skin condition and to fund specialist treatment abroad has received national press recognition and drummed up welcome publicity for his cause.
Four-year-old Wilf Ford has been diagnosed with severe Atopic Eczema and has also suffered with food allergies and asthma from an early age.
With the help of his family and friends, Wilf is hoping to raise enough money for treatment at a specialist hydrotherapy centre in France, which is dedicated to dermatology.
Dad Chris Ford, of Holden Street, Clitheroe, explained: “Wilf has suffered with this agonising condition from around six months old. He has been through so much and as the skin problems have got worse, we’ve seen him go from a happy-go-lucky little boy to a more anxious and angry child.
“It’s a vicious circle – the constant itching makes his skin red raw which then gets infected and has to be treated with anti-biotics. He’s had so many courses of medication and has to have his bandages changed every two hours, so even his schooling is affected as he can only manage half days due to staff limitations and his medical requirements.”
After hearing from families with children who have a similar condition to Wilf, and have travelled to France for treatment, Wilf’s parents researched the Avene Centre and think it could be hugely beneficial for their son to receive treatment there.
Chris continued: “We heard about a boy who has a very similar condition and after visiting the centre, he came back clear of eczema for a short time.
“We have been advised that Wilf would need three treatments, a few months apart, but the cost of each trip is very high as he can’t travel on a plane or train due to his medication – he has to travel by car with specialist equipment needed for the journey.”
Thanks to efforts to highlight his cause, Wilf’s story has been picked up nationally by the Daily Mail and many other news channels regionally.
A fundraising evening of Beer Bingo will be held on Wednesday, November 11th from 7 pm at the Ale House, Clitheroe. Many local businesses have donated raffle prizes.. The kindness of both friends and strangers, says Chris has been amazing: “We have been totally overwhelmed by the generosity of both businesses and individuals alike. We have so far raised over £8,000, but need around £12,000 to fund treatment and travel expenses.”