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Why the inaugural Annual Masquerade Ball, Fashion Show and Art Exhibition is the most important thing we will do this year

By Kofi Dwinfour

As you will, hopefully, know by now this September we will hold our inaugural Annual Masquerade Ball, Fashion Show and Art Exhibition. I believe that this single event is the most important thing that SDBM will do this year.

These are the reasons why we need YOU to get behind it and make it the most successful event it can be.

Skin disease patients need to become visible, and this high profile event is the best way we know to do that.

For too long skin disease patients have been invisible. They have been imprisoned by their condition, and ignored by society. I recently interviewed several patients at St Thomas’ hospital in London and all talked about how they have been belittled. Two patients stood out, Claire and Mal. Soon you will be able to watch and hear their interviews on our website. Mal told me that when he first showed symptoms, as an 18 year old, his doctor was sceptical. Even his loving parents where persuaded by the doctor that nothing was wrong with him and that he was lying. Mal has been living with his skin disease for 20 years. Since his original diagnosis, he has developed a further three conditions. Claire was born suffering from eczema.

A successful event will raise a lot of money and awareness. We need the money to start many of the more than 10 services that we have planned. The Ball will certainly be glamorous and fun, but we know that it will draw attention to skin disease and the people who suffer. A successful high profile event as envisaged will help us put skin disease on the national agenda. Then we can begin the process of moving forward. We will be able to engage with policy makers, advisers, and most importantly the people who make the decisions. At this point, we will need a detailed manifesto for what needs to be done to improve the lives of skin disease patients and their carers.

So, those are the reasons why we need to have a successful Masquerade Ball. You can help us by sharing this with your network of family, friends, and on various social media.

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The prevalence of skin disease exceeds that of obesity, hypertension, or cancer. Despite skin being the largest organ of the human body, dermatological research remains one of the most under funded areas of medicine. In a world where society has an increasing preoccupation with image and it’s importance to every aspect of a person’s life, sufferers of skin diseases are feeling and being more marginalised and isolated than ever.

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