A six-year-old girl with a severe skin condition has raised hundreds of pounds for a charity to help other children with the condition.
Aria Mearns, from Greenock, has suffered with eczema since she was a tot and has been left in hospital several times due to infections.
Her mother, Lesley, said that she has “never seen eczema affect a child like it does Aria”, and even said it was once so infected that doctors thought it had turned into sepsis.
She said: “Despite working in healthcare, I had never seen eczema affect a child like it does Aria. During a bad flare she can be covered from head to toe and her skin can be red, cracked and incredibly sore.
“Because the skin is broken, it can be prone to infection and Aria has had bad infections that have required antibiotics – once it was so badly infected the doctors thought it has turned into sepsis.
“Her face and hands are the worst affected and she often has to wear gloves as her fingers are so cracked and sore.
“During school she has a special box of cream and has to apply it throughout the day and because of this she has started to mention feeling different.
The Primary two pupil has found some relief with treatments for eczema and support from a UK wide charity for kids with eczema – Eczema Outreach Support (EOS).
Lesley was told about the charity from nurses at Queen Elizabeth Royal Hospital dermatology department and was so glad to find them.
Aria then decided to fundraise for the charity by completing a 5km – and even raised £600.
She added: “When we joined Aria got a welcome pack with lots of information and a fiddle toy and book about eczema. It was so reassuring for her to see there were other children like her and she could talk about what she goes through.
“It was Aria’s decision to fundraise for EOS so she could help other children with eczema. We organised a 5km walk and raised over £600.
“She was so excited and happy to help others like her and we arranged the family to be at the finish line to celebrate her achievement.
“Aria goes through a lot with her skin, but she is so positive and doesn’t let it get her down even though she is in pain.”
Linlithgow based charity EOS supports over 4000 children with eczema across the UK and is completely free.
CEO Suzi Holland said: “One in five children suffer from eczema and it can be severe, impacting every minute of a child’s day.
“Eczema is so much more than itchy skin! It can be hours spent daily on treatment, infected skin, lack of sleep, inability to concentrate, even bullying EOS is here to support children and young people with eczema and their families deal with the impact of eczema on daily life.
“Aria has done a phenomenal job in fundraising and every penny will go towards helping children and young people with eczema.
“We are raising awareness of the condition as part of World Eczema Day and can’t wait to launch our animations to educate others on what children and young people can go through.”