New Regional Group Starting Up!
Hello, my name is Chris Skilbeck, and I have Sjogren's Syndrome.
Sjogren's Syndrome is an auto-immune condition and affects mainly women from the age of 50 onwards, although some men and younger women have been affected. It causes dry eyes, dry mouth with associated problems, aching joints, extreme fatique, gastro-intestenal and gynaelogical problems, depression, and can also affect other major organs of the body (in my case I also have pulmonary fibrosis due to the lack of moisture in my lungs).
Dry eyes can range from mild to severe, entailing repeated use of eye drops, intollerance to bright sunlight. Dry mouth means difficulty talking, eating dry foods, rampent dental decay due to lack of saliva in the mouth, carrying bottles of water everywhere, and frequent visits to the bathroom because of this.
It was discovered in 1948 by a Swedish Doctor, and currently there is no cure; patients who suffer from SJS are on a constant 'learning curve' on how to manage their condition as best they can.
I am a member of the British Sjogren Syndrome Association, which is a registered charity that offers advice and assistance to those people with SJS, and sponsers research into the disease.
They hold regional meetings approximately 4 times a year throughout the country. Currently, the nearest ones to the Tees Valley area are either up in Newcastle upon Tyne, or down in Leeds.
Because a lot of people in the North Yorkshire, Tees Valley and South Durham areas have problems in travelling to either of these areas, I have decided to set up a new regional group, and have been delighted with the response I have received to date.
I have located a venue for the meeting, and it will be held in Middleton St George Cricket and Social Club, who have very kindly agreed that we can use their premises free of charge. The dates for the meetings have been finalised, and the first one will be on Tuesday 7 February, 7-9pm.
If you or someone you know has Sjogren's Syndrome and would like to attend a more local meeting, please email me putting 'BSSA' in the message line.