In September 2015 my partner Dawn started getting a persistent cough, tight chest and breathing difficulties when walking uphill or climbing the stairs at home. Over time it gradually became worse where it affected Dawns daily life and her quality of life tremendously. Upon going to the doctors she was quickly referred to the Northern General Hospital in Sheffield in June 2016, where she undertook MRI, CT scans, ECG as well as X rays and a bronchoscopy procedure. This diagnosed an extremely rare auto immune disease called Pulmonary Sarcoidosis, so rare that it affects 1 in a 100000 in the UK. This disease affects Dawns lungs, spleen and lymph nodes in her body and has caused scarring to her lungs. This came as a complete shock to both of us and she was put on a high dose of steroid drugs to maintain her disease. As this disease is not curable,it can only be managed and affects sufferers like Dawn on a daily basis. Symptoms include extreme fatigue, out of breath doing simple daily tasks, nerve pain throughout her body, a tight chest. Overnight our lives were changed completely and all our plans had to be cancelled and Dawn could not go to work to the job she loved at school. The strong steroid treatment caused Dawn to suffer extreme anxiety and panic attacks, as her body could not tolerate the steroid tablets prescribed for the Sarcoidosis. Since then Dawn has tried 3 times to take the Steroid treatment to maintain her disease but each time her mental health has deteriorated to a huge extent and caused Dawn major depression. Since May this year, we have battled with the hospital treating Dawn's Sarcoidosis for a treatment which has benefited patients throughout other parts of the world. It is used by the NHS for Crohns disease, rheumotoid athritis, ulcerative colitis which are other auto immune diseases. We have been denied this Infliximab treatment by the NHS saying there is no funding for this. We are now going to try to raise the funds by end of February 2018 as Dawn's condition has deteriorated. This treatment will help Dawn focus on battling this disease and be a positive alternative to all the bad news we have had for over a year. The Sarcoidosis UK charity has been campaigning for this alternative treatment but not been successful with NHS England as a first line of treatment. The situation is now urgent and we would like people to donate to this cause, the amount is for 12 month's of treatment. We feel that this is our only hope of gaining this treatment to help Dawn battle this debilitating disease and also raise awareness of Sarcoidosis.
We thank you for reading Dawn's story and helping us raise the funds.
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