The Exeter boy who is allergic to sunshine
THE next time you complain about the weather, spare a thought for little Jack Lavers-Mason, the five-year-old Exeter boy who is allergic to sunshine.
The youngster, who lives with his mother Karen, and sister Zara, three, at Dunvegan Close, St David's, has an extremely rare skin condition leaving him abnormally sensitive to sunlight.
The condition is neither infectious nor dangerous, but it has a terrible impact on Jack's lifestyle, particularly during the summer months and on holidays.
Called hyroa vacciniforme, it leaves the victim terribly intolerant to naturally occurring UV-A and B radiation.
Business Cards From Only £10.95 Delivered www.myprint-247.co.ukView details
Our heavyweight cards have FREE UV silk coating, FREE next day delivery & VAT included. Choose from 1000's of pre-designed templates or upload your own artwork. Orders dispatched within 24hrs.
Terms: Visit our site for more products: Business Cards, Compliment Slips, Letterheads, Leaflets, Postcards, Posters & much more. All items are free next day delivery. www.myprint-247.co.uk
Contact: 01858 468192
Valid until: Friday, May 31 2013
For Jack just a short exposure to sunlight causes burning, itching or stinging sensations of the skin followed by lumps and blisters.
Even on an overcast day he has to wear a wide-brimmed hat, dark glasses, gloves and specially treated long-sleeved clothes from Australia – as well as being covered in Factor 50 sun cream.
Now Jack's mother is looking to raise money to help make life a little easier for Jack – by having windows at his school coated with a film that filters out the harmful rays.
Karen said: "It was just over two years ago when we were on holiday in Cornwall that we first noticed something was wrong and that he became very tired in the sun and suffered with a rash.
"We took him to the Royal Devon & Exeter Hospital's dermatology department and they thought it was something to do with the sun.
"The only equipment that could really tell was in Cardiff so we took Jack there. He had to sit perfectly still for an hour while they shone different ultra violet light on him.
"That's when we received the diagnosis and because it is so rare he has to see the professor at Cardiff Hospital – although the RD&E can help if it is an emergency.
"It really affects him quite badly. He gets very red skin and blisters, overheats, feels unwell and gets very tired. It can happen even on an overcast day depending on how much UV light is about.
"We have to restrict the amount of time he can play outdoors and can never go anywhere for the whole day.
"We can go to Crealy because they have an indoor area we can go to.
"He is such a brave lad and is just like any little boy, he loves being out playing and he loves learning at school. This has become just part of him. There is no cure but there are hopes that he will grow out of it as he gets older."
To help Jack, Karen has had the windows at their home and the family car windows coated with a special film that stops 99 per cent of UV light coming through while not affecting the glass at all.
She said: "We are now looking to raise around £1,000 for the same treatment for windows in Jack's classroom at St David's Church of England Primary School, as well as the classroom he will be in next year and the windows in the school hall.
"The school have been absolutely wonderful and are a great help with his Factor 50 cream, gloves and hat."
To help raise the money, family friend David Jim who runs the Cowley Bridge Inn, is organising a special three-course Chinese meal with wine at £25 a head on Saturday, March 30, with all profits going to Jack's fund. There is also a fundraising raffle being arranged.
To book a seat or buy a raffle ticket or contribute to the fund call 07754 137955.