For the past 10 years, Marie Zaffira has watched her daughter suffer from a disease that few people know about or understand.
At 18, her daughter was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease which causes inflammation of the bowel and often leaves her bedridden and unable to go about everyday life.
Prior to her daughter’s diagnosis, Ms Zaffira had never heard of the condition, which she says she is still trying to understand.
“It’s like a Kinder Surprise disease. You don’t know when you are going to get a flare-up,” she said.
“It’s a faceless disease because you look fine on the outside but that’s not the case.
“When you have a flare-up, it is debilitating. You can’t get out of bed … it is very painful. It can control your life.”
Over the years, Ms Zaffira has turned to Crohn’s and Colitis
Australia (CCA) for support.
She credits the foundation with helping her family manage the diagnosis and learn more about the disease and treatment options.
In an effort to raise awareness of Crohn’s Disease and give back to CCA, Ms Zaffira is organising a fundraising day on World Inflammatory Bowel Disease Day on Friday, May 19.
Her Greenvale-based business, The Posy Story, which she runs with daughter-in-law Rebecca Prestia, will be selling purple flowers and special biscuits on the day. The business donates a portion of its sales each week to CCA.
“I am really passionate about raising awareness because there is no cure,” Ms Zaffira said.
“I want to support the foundation and help bring about a cure.”
CCA chief executive Francesca Manglaviti said about 75,000 Australians suffered from inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD) such as Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis.
“People recently diagnosed or living with IBD are often afraid. They’re generally confused by the diagnosis, worried that IBD will severely affect their day-to-day lives,” she said. “With IBD patients stigmatised and often misunderstood by others, they can be embarrassed to discuss their illness with family and friends.”
To support the fundraiser, visit: theposystory.com.au