Having spent many years as a family seeking support for one of my sisters it was my daughter who mentioned the Katie Piper foundation following a documentary she had recently watched. I subsequently researched the charity as I was unaware of the kind of support it offered.
One of my younger sisters had suffered severe burns as a child and although now in her forties, we as a family had been unable to find support for her to cope both emotionally and physically. The only part of her body which remains unscarred is a small patch on her cheek and another on her abdomen. She wears a wig and spent most of her early childhood in hospital.
Understandably her confidence has always been a challenge for her and ensuring she felt as comfortable as possible with her hair and makeup was a constant concern for us. We spent years applying for grants for wigs only to be frequently rejected. My parents paid for as much as they could but this became very difficult in later years and more so once my Dad passed away.
I rang the Foundation in the hope that we may get some direction to help my sister as she had been going through a particularly tough time. At the very first conversation I was made to feel very comfortable and that finally someone was listening. Within weeks they had provided my sister with a new wig which looked fabulous and had discussed a whole variety of ongoing support for her. I remember her saying to me “it’s like a dream come true, I’d stopped believing there were people out there who would help me.”
Over the forthcoming months she spent time having her eyebrows tattooed back and even went away for a weekend with the Foundation, to meet others who have endured similar challenges. In the forty years of coping daily with her challenges, this was the first time she had spent time talking to others in a similar situation. The affect on her was amazing. She has gone from despair to looking forward to things in life. She has started attending family gatherings again and has even been away on holiday. Activities she has not done for several years.
The kindness and care shown to her by the Foundation and everyone involved with it has been a life changing experience not just for my sister but for us as a family. She will always have to live with her emotional and physical scars but the help received from the foundation has meant that instead of just coping through life, she is living it. We have our sister back!
Thank you all so much