News Archives

Sarah's Story

Printed with permission from Caboolture News. March 26th, 2008.
Article written by Nicole Richardson.

Scleroderma is Not an End to Life.

Young Sufferer has Personal Story of Hope.
sarah 1.jpg
Four years ago Sarah Fairall from Deception Bay was an independent, energetic, adventurous and hardworking soldier in the Australian Army.
Now she has Scleroderma, preventing her from living a normal life.
In May 2003, a week after returning from a military exercise, Mrs Fairall suffered from fatigue, stiffening, swelling, pain, heat in her joints and muscles and frequent night sweats.
Little did she know these were symptoms of Scleroderma.
“My skin, mainly on the arms and legs, became puckered, tight, leathery and looked waxy,” Mrs Fairall said.
“My ability to move and complete simple everyday tasks, such as getting dressed and brushing my hair, was painful and difficult. I also had problems with bright lights and swallowing as my eyes and mouth were dry.”
After seven months, her diagnosis was confirmed with a punch biopsy and blood tests.
She was then discharged from the army, as there was no possibility of a full recovery.
“Scleroderma has changed my life dramatically,” she said
“The part which has affected me the most was the loss of not just a job, but a career. I also had depression, financial problems, loss of independence, change of diet, postponing having children – which put a strain on my marriage.”
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In an astonishing turn of events, Mrs Fairall fell pregnant and gave birth to a healthy baby girl (Amy) four months ago.
“I am now happy to say I am stable and hoping this is as bad as it is going to get for a long time,” Mrs Fairall said.
“I want to start living my life again. I am just starting to accept my circumstances and am trying to be happy with what I have and what I do with my life. I don’t have any of that pain anymore and I have the use of my hands back. I had to wait a year or so to get off medication before I could even ask my doctor if I could try for children. So we had to put off for three years and even then, when you do fall pregnant, it’s classified as high risk.”
As part of Scleroderma Awareness Month, Mrs Fairall wanted to let sufferers know it was not the end of their lives. Especially for young sufferers, having a family is not out of the question anymore. Just be patient, wait until you’re feeling better and things will fall into place.”


Alex's Story

Super Support for Kids

Printed with permission from the newspaper:"Daily Mercury, Mackay’
The article was written by Fallon Hudson, and published on Saturday May 31, 2008.
Photo taken by Amamda Balmer.

alex.jpgWhen Alex Hold, 11, put on his skis and hit the slopes at Thredbo for the first time he wasn't in pain or tired - he felt like a normal boy.
Alex suffers from Scleroderma,a disease which causes his immune system to attack the muscles, joints and bones.
Once a week Alex has chemotherapy injections and also makes monthly visits to hospital for high doses of steroids which leave him tired and sore.
It was always Alex's wish to go skiing and thanks to the Starlight Children's Foundation he spent a week at the snow with his family.
His mother, Tracey, said they could not have been more grateful to Starlight for making Alex's wish come true and giving them family memories that will last forever.

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Generous Donation

A very generous cheque for $1010 has been received by the Scleroderma Association of Qld.
Below is a summary of the contents of the letter which accompnied the donation...

I am enclosing two cheques totaling $1010 being proceeds of a fund raising event held recently
to support the research into Scleroderma being carried out at the P.A. Hospital. My daughter,
Suellen Thompson suffers from the CREST variety and we have both recently joined the
Association. We attended the Seminar at the P.A. in March and are very pleased we did as we
found it very helpful and informative.

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Aust Rheumatology Assoc Meeting

Report by Chris Lloyd

I was privileged to fly to Adelaide as a new Queensland Delegate for Scleroderma Australia.

The event was the 50th Annual Scientific Meeting of the Australian Rheumatology Association from 17th to 21st May. 

sign on stall in adelaide 2.jpg This was held in the Adelaide Convention Centre on North Terrace. I had the opportunity to meet the rest of the Scleroderma Australia committee from other states as well as make important contacts with many doctors and other health professionals. 


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Brayden's Story - Morphea

brayden2007.jpgThe Story of Brayden

Picture: Brayden and his Mum, Carolyn

I have a six year old son with morphea on the left-hand side of his face.  It started as an oval shaped patch under his left eye which was noticeable when he was 3yrs old.  My husband and I were told by the GP that this patch of skin simply didn’t have any pigment and not to worry about it.  When Brayden was 4yrs old the oval patch started going brown so we immediately took him to a different GP who referred us to a dermatologist. 

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Please note: The new phone number for the Scleroderma Association of Queensland is 07 32773460. Our postal has changed too; it is PO Box 316, SALISBURY Qld. 4107. The new physical address of our office is 124A Evans Road Salisbury. If you would like to come and browse through some books in our library or have a chat or help, please visit on Wednesday between 9:30 and 12 midday.