“I control it, it doesn’t control me.”
This is the mantra of a brave schoolgirl from Chesterfield who’s helping to raise awareness of Lupus after being diagnosed with the condition aged 12.
Kate Burton had never heard of the autoimmune disease, which causes inflammation of the joints, skin and other organs.
But the youngster was suffering‘tell-tale’ symptoms such as a swollen head and a ‘butterfly rash’ which spread along her cheekbones.
She was tired, had lost a lot of weight, had pain in her feet and was even losing her hair.
Kate said: “The immune system wants to attack viruses and diseases.
"But sometimes it doesn’t, and starts to attack my organs.”
The word Lupus comes from the Latin word for wolf as lupus vulgaris, a severe facial rash rarely seen now, was once thought to look like a wolf’s bite.
Now the cause of her symptoms is known, Kate has started a treatment plan at Sheffield Children’s Hospital which includes intravenous steroids and other medication.
Her mum, Susan Burton, said: “Kate can’t do too much. She’s got to pace herself."
Kate will likely be on medication for life. She has also been advised to wear Factor 50 suncream and protective clothing when she’s outdoors as UV Light can bring on symptoms such as itching, burning and joint pain.
The determined pre-teen has kept herself busy in hospital by going to scout group and painting in her room.
Her mum has praised the care she has received at Sheffield Children’s, saying: “Kate’s friend was really nervous to come but they went and sat out on the window seats in the corridor to chat. Everyone is really lovely, they work wonders."
There is no cure for Lupus, but symptoms are more manageable if the condition is caught early. For more information visit www.nhs.uk/conditions/lupus
The Children’s Hospital Charity’s brand-new event, a sponsored walk around the Chatsworth Estate, takes place this Sunday with the option of 3km or 10km routes.
The walk spans Chatsworth House, Lodge hill and the medieval Stand Woods, before passing the Hunting Tower, the Swiss lake and historic Aqueduct. Over 300 people have signed up to take part so far.
Entry is £10 for adults and £5 for children with free parking on the day. Every person who enters will also receive discounted entry to Chatsworth House.
It starts at 10am, and the deadline to sign up is Friday 21st June at 12pm. Under 3s are free, with discounts for family tickets.
You can find also Theo Bear’s things on your way with a specially designed orienteering challenge, which costs just £1 to enter before you start on your walk.
Every penny raised will go towards the appeal to build a new Emergency Department at Sheffield Children’s Hospital. To sign up, visit www.tchc.org.uk/events