The Algarve has been busy collecting fruit! The supermarket chain Lidl’s have been offering stickers in return for shopping – which can then be exchanged for some rather charming and cuddly fruit toys. The offer ends today Wednesday 26th February and the fruit can be collected until Wednesday 5th March
One enterprising and selfless person here on the Algarve has been busy collecting the stickers and fruit for a different reason – to give them to children with a rare disease called EB.
I was intrigued – and we had been collecting the stickers with no real intention of doing anything with them – at best we’d have collected a free fruit (probably the banana – it made me smile the most!) and then just stuck it on a shelf
So we contacted the lady in question – Cat Almeida – and asked her a little more about why she was collecting the fruit. She directed us to the UK website DEBRA which is the national charity working on behalf of people in the UK with the genetic skin blistering condition Epidermolysis Bullosa (EB).
Epidermolysis Bullosa (EB) is a group of genetic disorders that result in fragility of the skin and, in some cases, other internal membranes and organs. Blisters, open wounds and sores form as a result of the slightest touch, rub or trauma. *information taken from the Debra UK website.
She also gave me the link to the equivalent site in Portugal – debra.pt
The Portugal group was formed in September 2010 by a group of patients and parents of children with EB. Their aims appear simple – to generate more awareness of the condition and to find improved treatments.
Tomorrow – 28th February – is World Rare Disease Day – which is timely for this initiative. If you would like to know more about this – then why not click this logo which links to a video explaining more about the day
The theme of World Rare Disease Day this year is “Care” – which is a trait embodied by Cat as she collects the Lidl stickers and fruit. Her initial message onto a Facebook group summed it up for me so well:
Do you have unwanted toy stickers for me to swop for soft toys for Butterfly children? … These kids have skin as fragile as butterfly wings hence the name. The fruit and veg toys are bright, smiley and soft, ideal gifts to try to tempt our kids to eat after esophagus dilation and other awful problems they have to live with every day. Can you help me provoke a smile from a kid that sometimes needs a reason to smile?
There is still time to join in – if you have enough stickers to exchange for a fruit …
then why not send your fruit to Cat? Alternatively if you can drop stickers off directly at her office before the 5th March I am sure she would be surprised and grateful to receive them. And the children she will be giving them too would be delighted.
Her office address in Almancil is:
HiFX PLC. Rua 5 de Outubro Nº 170. Almancil 8135-101