Recently I was talking with Shabana Islam (founder of SDBM). After some pleasant chitchat Shabana started giving me a bit of a Spanish Inquisition (nobody ever expects the Spanish Inquisition). After some brave stalling, I finally relented. I admitted to her that before I met her and got involved with SDBM, I was ignorant about skin disease and how it affects the lives of sufferers. I had no idea about the severity of the physical pain. I was embarrassed.
Perhaps you may be as surprised as Shabana was at my revelation. After all, I am a reasonably intelligent person. However, my ignorance bordering on indifference is normal. Sadly, skin disease is the ‘invisible’ disease. Of course, I don’t mean this literally because many skin diseases leave their mark on the sufferer’s body. I mean that most people just don’t know about skin disease beyond teenage acne. Of course we have heard about the most widely known, such as eczema and psoriasis. However, I was certainly not aware of the myriad of psychological and social problems related to skin conditions. I didn’t know what it can be like when the disease is chronic.
I was awakened because I met Shabana and became a volunteer. Not everyone can or would want to do this. So, what is needed is for skin disease sufferers to become visible and vocal. For us to be able to help you we need you to speak up. I would like you to help us in raising awareness of how skin disease has impacted many people's lives. For example, you can make a video, sharing how your skin condition has affected you; and for the camera shy maybe a voice note or written story. You can post directly on the Share Your Story page on this website. Alternatively, you can email your story or ask us to contact you.
I will make you this promise, I’ll be listening.