This week, local MP John Penrose attended a Parliamentary event addressed by Weston’s Chloe Gillum, a paediatric nurse living with several autoimmune conditions (type 1 diabetes, vitiligo and an underactive thyroid) to highlight the links between these conditions, and the need to treat them as a distinct medical research area in the same way as cancer, infectious disease and dementia.
Chloe Gillum spoke about a typical day in her life and the challenges and lack of understanding she faces as a result of these multiple autoimmune conditions.
John said: “Chloe spoke for thousands of sufferers across the country. There are over 80 autoimmune conditions and we’ve got to understand the links between them, as part of finding effective cures.”
- A report from Connect Immune Research launched at the event revealed that many autoimmune conditions are on the rise, costing the UK over £13 billion each year.
- There are more than 80 autoimmune conditions known to science and some conditions are increasing in incidence by as much as 9% each year. Yet the rise of these conditions goes largely underreported.
- Medical science does not yet know the reasons behind the rise, and the charities are campaigning for change in the way research is approached.
- Four million people – that is almost one in every 16 – live with an autoimmune condition, which can cause pain, difficulty as well as lost opportunities in work and in life.
More detail on Chloe’s experiences with each autoimmune condition can be found in the report.