At the end of last year, we promised to feature a “charity of the month” on our website and to have a donations box at the co-op for charities and events nominated by our members and selected by the co-operative administration committee.
Our first “Charity of the Month” is ausEE Inc. Please visit the shop and look for the donations box if you’d like to make a contribution.
Flame Tree Co-op Member Mercedes Hinchcliff, the VP of ausEE writes:
ausEE, Inc. is a registered Australian charity dedicated to providing support and information to anyone diagnosed with or caring for someone with an Eosinophilic Gastrointestinal Disorder (EGID) including Eosinophilic oEsophagitis (EE or EoE).
EoE occurs when there are a large number of eosinophils found in the oesophagus.
Eosinophils, a type of white blood cell, are an important part of the immune system, helping us fight off certain types of infections, such as parasites. Many different problems can cause high numbers of eosinophils in the blood including allergies (food and environmental), certain infections (caused by parasites), eosinophil associated gastrointestinal disorders, leukemia, and other problems. When eosinophils occur in higher than normal numbers in the body, without a known cause, an eosinophilic disorder may be present.
Eosinophilic disorders are further defined by the area of the body affected. For instance, eosinophilic esophagitis is associated with abnormally high numbers of eosinophils in the esophagus. Food is the biggest culprit in this disease, and in the case of my son Henry, he is allergic to all food and survives on a prescription formula.
Symptoms can vary greatly, depending on the area affected, but can include: nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, abdominal or chest pain, reflux that does not respond to usual treatment, difficulty swallowing, failure to thrive, poor appetite, difficulty sleeping and food impaction.
Many children who suffer from this disease live with constant pain and there is little available to ease their discomfort.
Some of the children living with this disease are unable to eat most food and are fed through a tube in their stomachs. Endoscopy and biopsy is the ONLY way to confirm the diagnosis of EGID and EE. This is unfortunately a very invasive way to manage the disease.
This is why we are committed to raising public awareness and supporting the medical community for further research.
Our mission is to improve the lives of those affected by eosinophilic gastrointestinal disorders by providing support and information and to campaign and raise funds for further research in Australia.
For further information on Eosinophilic disorders, please visit our website at www.ausee.org