Stop The Clock On Leprosy

(This fundraising campaign is now closed)


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Retired physiotherapist Alison McDonald needs your help to stop the clock ticking on leprosy’s powerful effects in this lives of people she has met.

Imagine how he must feel… finding out now that all his suffering is needless.

Liton is 31 years old. He should have all of his life ahead of him but as you can see, leprosy has ravaged his body for 8 years. Tragically, a lot of his suffering has been unnecessary as leprosy is completely curable. So I’m writing to ask you to stop the clock ticking and allow others to access the cure before it’s too late for them too.

Just £24 can deliver the cure. Leprosy drugs are donated, so your gift will be used to diagnose leprosy, and deliver the cure– meaning your affordable gift of £24 goes even further! A small amount for you but EVERYTHING for the person you cure!

How many people can you afford to cure today? Please help at least one.

Across many developing countries, thousands of children and young people have leprosy but don’t yet realise it as the symptoms haven’t appeared. Leprosy cannot be diagnosed before the symptoms appear.

So you must act fast. In children, a common symptom is that due to nerve damage their fingers will start to weaken and claw, at a time when they need them as they learn to write, turn the pages of a book or to catch a ball. Little hands are also vulnerable to injury as fingers and toes begin to go numb.

There is no physical pain only the emotional pain. As soon as anyone sees the symptoms, the person with leprosy may well be abandoned or asked to leave their home, left outdoors to live under a highway bridge.  Living in societies where they cannot access state benefits, begging is their only option.

Liton remembers the day he found out he had leprosy. If you receive the results of a major diagnosis, you’d hope your family would offer support and comfort. Instead, Liton’s mother banished him to another part of the family home. Eight years later, he is forced to live separately from his family and from the outside world.

He found out he had leprosy when he was 23.  Liton worked in the fields as a farm labourer; where his fingers were easily cut or bruised – the problem was he couldn’t feel the pain.    Leprosy took away that pain – the warning sign that even small injuries need attention. Infection got into the cuts, ulcers developed and muscles became weak. Then came the amputation.

And yet, Liton still has to work in the fields, picking crops with his disabled hands and stumbling on his disabled feet.

He feels quite hopeless as he would like to have a regular job, but repeated ulcers prevent this.

When asked how he felt about the way his family treat him, his eyes filled with tears and he said he had no words to describe how he feels.

In his village he is not allowed in the market or the tea shop nor allowed to buy any goods in any of the shops. He is also refused entry on some buses.

When asked about his hopes and dreams he said “I dream of getting married but can’t see that being realised because of my family’s attitude.”

On 30 October, people throughout Scotland and the U.K. will turn back the clock. This is something you probably won’t even think about. Yet this is when you have the power to stop the clock ticking.

For Liton, we can’t turn back the clock.

Clawed hands and drooping eyelids can be repaired with surgery. If they receive the cure in time, a person can be saved from disability, amputation, blindness, facial disfigurement, rejection and abandonment but only if they receive the cure in time.

Nobody can give people their fingers and toes back. Sight lost in injured eyes can’t be restored.

The clock continues to tick. Somewhere in the world, one person is diagnosed with leprosy every two minutes.

How many people you will cure today? Please, before it’s too late for the next person.

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26th Sep 2016

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Opinions are the authors own and not necessarily those of The Leprosy Mission Scotland.