Behind the Journey: Lesley-Anne
When ESC was developing the Atopic Dermatitis Patient Journey, we wanted to be sure it reflected the voices and experiences of the eczema community. Working closely with patients and caregivers, ESC conducted countless individual interviews, focus groups, as well as a national survey to gather information and understand the common challenges and barriers to care people living with AD experience throughout a lifetime. Throughout 2021, ESC will be sharing stories from the volunteers who helped bring this project the life. This month, we hear from Lesley-Anne, a mother of two from Newmarket. Lesley-Anne was involved in both the development of the Patient Journey, as well as ESC’s awareness month campaign. We thank her for her involvement and for sharing her story below.
I’ve had eczema since childhood. My skin was easily triggered. Things that were supposed to be fun – like bubble baths – instead were complete irritations. Fast forward to recent years, and my eczema has spread to my hands, face, eyes, eyelids, earlobes, lips, and even part of my chest. It was challenging to have eczema on such a visible part of my body and it affected my personal and professional life. I found myself avoiding social activities and it impacted my ability to exercise. I tried everything, from topical creams, to special diets and supplements, but nothing helped. It was only when it was suggested I should try an oral medication that was used for cancer treatment, my family doctor and I went back to basics. We developed a detailed plan that I followed to a T, and it really helped. I started having regular follow ups and found ESC for education and guidance. Through education, I found confidence in my treatment. It was only later in #MyEczemaJourney that I realized that eczema didn’t just affect my skin, but my whole health. It is complex and challenging and can affect social and mental health as much as physical health.
I became involved in the AD Patient Journey to help shine a light on this disease and to give back. I hope that by sharing what I have learned, I can prevent others from having to suffer like I did.
Want to get involved? Share your #MyEczemaJourney and #MyADJourney on social media and help ESC raise awareness for AD and the need for better care and more treatment choice.