By Jacob Ottaway
An Ipswich family have teamed up to fundraise money for the charity Facial Palsy UK, and have already made half of their £1000 target, with 9 months to go. The Reid family, from the Stoke Park area of Ipswich, are comprised of Paul and Kim, with their daughters Aimee (now Stannard) and Chloe. Chloe, 18, is all too familiar with Facial Palsy; a condition that usually entails the weakening or paralysis of muscles in one side of the face, isn’t exactly uncommon, with roughly 20,000 people a year being affected by Bell’s Palsy – the most common type of Facial Palsy.
Chloe, who has now had 15 relapses of Facial Palsy, is spearheading the fundraising campaign upon her social media, and has made clear the day to day physical and emotional issues that come with Facial Palsy. “Sometimes, myself and other family members with the condition have felt that we can’t go out in public, due to symptoms that show such as paralysis of one side of the face, an unequal smile, the difficulties to speak to people or carry out certain tasks. Another issue would be when the emotional and psychological effects this can have. You feel like your friends will ignore you, due to ‘standing out’ from the crowd and also psychologically, this can massively effect day to day life with anxiety or panic moments”, she says.
Very importantly for Chloe and her family, from 1st March to 7th March was Facial Palsy Awareness week, allowing the family, and Chloe in particular, to put a larger focus on the issue. She used her birthday, being on March 3rd, in order to raise more money, with donations to the charity for her birthday equating to another £65 for Facial Palsy UK.
As well as this, Chloe and other facial palsy sufferers have used the week to upload selfies with a number drawn on their face, this number linking to issues suffered. For instance, she used the number 3 to represent that amount of people in her family who have had issues with facial palsy.
The family aim to continue their fundraising crusade, with exciting events lined up for the next month. “We have a fundraiser event on the 7th April where we are holding a raffle and also on the 4th of December, a large end of year raffle is being held which we are currently looking for prizes for. We are looking for raffle prizes or for donations, which a page will be set up for.
All of the money raised will be put back into facial palsy to help sufferers gain the support and medical help they need as this charity is self funded and not government run. It can help with things such as Botox, speech therapies, CBT, EMG tests and lots more”.
More can be found out at http://www.facialpalsy.org.uk