Dis­ease put on the map

Stirling Times - - News - Laura Pond

A WEM­B­LEY Downs woman has suc­ceeded in hav­ing Septem­ber recog­nised as Hirschsprung’s Dis­ease Aware­ness month.

Shortly af­ter she was born, Ste­fa­nia Lit­tle was di­ag­nosed with the dis­ease, which is a ge­netic con­di­tion where nerves are miss­ing from parts of the in­tes­tine, mean­ing stool can­not be passed through the bowel.

She spent most of her child­hood in and out of hospi­tal and by the time she was 10 had gone through more than 100 sur­gi­cal pro­ce­dures.

“I was al­ways sick; no one re­ally un­der­stood,” she said.

“High school was re­ally hard.”

It was this frus­tra­tion with the lack of knowl­edge about the dis­ease and not want­ing her eight-year-old daugh­ter Saman­tha to go through the same ex­pe­ri­ence that in­spired her to raise aware­ness.

Mrs Lit­tle started a sup­port group and af­ter the Aus­tralian Health De­part­ment des­ig­nated Septem­ber as an aware­ness month, held the in­au­gu­ral Walk for Hirschsprung’s dis­ease in Floreat.

“I, along with a lot of other peo­ple, got sick of Hirschsprung’s Dis­ease be­ing shoved un­der a rug,” she said.

She hopes to en­cour­age peo­ple to learn more about the dis­ease and also wants toi­let re­stric­tions re­moved.

“I don’t want shops and ser­vos to deny peo­ple the use of toi­lets if they say they re­ally need to go,” she said.

Her idea is for cards to be avail­able to peo­ple with med­i­cal con­di­tions some­times re­quir­ing im­me­di­ate use of toi­lets, cer­ti­fied by the govern­ment or health de­part­ment. Visit www.face­book. com/kick­inghd.

Pic­ture: Mar­tin Ken­nealey www.com­mu­ni­typix.com.au d486936

Ste­fa­nia Lit­tle and her daugh­ter Saman­tha.

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