“On Christmas Day 2010, I woke up unable to walk, clean my teeth or do up my shoelaces – even the bed sheets hurt me. The pain was unbearable and the fear was worse – I had no idea what was happening, and there was nothing anyone could do for me, and that made my family scared as well.
... and then I found out almost half a million Australians suffer from this terrible pain EVERY DAY, and there is no cure.” Michael Gill, Dragon Claw Founder.
Help us raise $60,000 to build an online community supporting sufferers and their carers where they need it most. At home.
In Australia, there are over 450,000 sufferers -- including 5000 children -- who suffer from moderate to severe Rheumatoid Arthritis, Lupus or Juvenile Arthritis. Can you imagine the tragedy of a two year old who can't crawl or walk because of the pain? Or the mother with nowhere to turn for day to day care advice?
This group of diseases are part of the Rheumatoid Disease (RD) category. Often, these are present with other illnesses which compounds the complexity, expense ...and pain. RD can happen suddenly - as it did for Mike - or creep up slowly.
RD strikes people of all ages. Rebecca contracted severe rheumatoid arthritis when she was twelve years old. While it hasn't stopped her having a successful fashion career - or giving birth to gorgeous Edward - having RD with all it's complications has been a journey itself.
We're building Dragon Claw (www.Dragon-claw.org), a free not-for-profit service to sufferers, their carers and invited clinicians. Our website is new, our ambitions are huge and we want to help change the way services are provided to the chronically ill.
Help us help them. Please give now.
The health systems in Australia, the UK and US offer little to sufferers, as treatment is on a per episode basis, and there is no co-ordinated, supportive approach. Many who suffer from RD are isolated and unaware of the things that could make life easier.
Being racked with pain and having drug reactions also means it's difficult to get out. For a lot of sufferers, this means losing their job, their home and and family. Quality of life becomes very limited, and what there is carries a hefty price tag for medications - up to $40,000 per year for some.
We can change this.
Dragon Claw will do more than just connect sufferers within a community of self-help: our platform upgrade will help to fight the sense of isolation and depression that often goes hand in hand with a reduced quality of life. By supporting chronic pain sufferers through their journey, we hope to make every day a little brighter, more informed and worthwhile. Reflecting our community roots, we're using the unique and vibrant graffiti art to focus our energy.
Your contribution will help us to set the foundation for our second stage of development: the virtual community outreach and connection between sufferers. This includes developing our ability to:
- Accelerate growth of our member population of sufferers and carers;
- Improve the way we support people with multiple conditions, by providing smartphone apps, tools and information;
- Utilise social media support;
- Provide collaborative tools such as webinars and group based video conferences.
Thank you so much for your interest! Please help us make a real difference by making a donation now.
Dragon Claw Team
Dragon Claw is made up of 25 active volunteers, plus five corporate supporters. Our Patron is Prof. Mukesh Haikerwal AO, former President of the Australian Medical Association and current Chair of the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare.