One of the hardest things I had to come to terms with from my physical injuries after the train crash, was the scarring left after my wounds had healed. My face, hands and legs are all scarred and over the years I have come to accept them as being part of me and the person I am.
However, what if there was a possibility that scarring from injury could be a thing of the past?
What if it were possible to stop scarred people, such as myself, ever having to exist?
Well it could very well be that this dream will be a reality within a generation.
I have been a privileged and proud Ambassador of The Healing Foundation since their formation in late 1999 by the British Association of Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetics Surgeons. I have been privileged to watch, work and take part with some of their world leading medical research into wound healing, scarring and the psychological effects of disfigurement.
They are now changing and have renamed themselves The Scar Free Foundation and will henceforward devote their work to driving a global programme of research towards a medical revolution that will be 'as important as the discovery of antibiotics or the development of modern anaesthetics'.
The Problem of Scarring - some stats for you
• In the UK 10,000 people survive a serious burn every year.
• An estimated 30,000 people are seriously burned in the world, every day. 75% of these affect children.
• 6,000 people visit UK A&Es with serious facial injuries every week.
• 90% of all cancers will be treated or diagnosed with surgery.
• 25,000 mastectomies are performed in in the UK every year.
• 70,000 people living with Crohn's disease will need surgical repair.
• A child is born with a cleft palate every three minutes.
• 4.8 million hospital admissions in the UK result in surgery.
• 100 diabetic amputations every week in the UK.
• 1,000 of the armed forces are estimated to have returned from Afghanistan with life-long scarring.
What the Scar Free Foundation Will Do
They are uniquely placed to, and will, bring together the power of pathway biology, stem cell research, comparative biology and human genetics together with bioengineering, physical and mathematical sciences to achieve the clinical goal - scar free healing.
The clinical treatments that promote scar free healing are within reach and can be in use within 30 years i.e. a generation.
Scarring is very, very common. It can be caused by almost anything including burns, trauma, operations, and treatment of cancer. Scar Free healing also has the potential to lead to significant advances in other common diseases such as cirrhosis, scarring of kidneys etc.
Thus the implications of 'scar free healing' are far reaching and will have considerable impact on the lives of millions of people.
And so, that is why I am delighted to continue to work with The Scar Free Foundation and will do anything and everything I can to help them moving forward into this truly exciting new dawn.....A World Without Scarring.
Please share this story with your connections and on social media platforms. The more support that is shown the wider the message that scar free healing is in sight will get around the world - so please spread the hope. #scarfree @scarfreeworld