"Adam and Addison's Disease"
My name is Gill Cash. For over 40 years I have lived near St Ives and worked in Cambridge. My hobbies include reading, writing, fashion, photograph, travelling and listening to music.
Since the sudden and unexpected death of my 21 year old son, Adam, on Christmas Day 2012, I have been raising awareness of Addison’s Disease and its complications. The prevalence of auto-immune conditions has increased over the past 20 years and Addison’s Disease is one of about 84 such conditions. Theories about such an increase include environmental factors along with over-use of anti-bacterial products – basically, we are just too clean and our immune systems, as children, do not come into contact with as many germs as we did over 20 years ago.
Another aspect of my awareness campaign is the implementation of compulsory education of CPR in schools. This has the support of NHS England as well as the British Heart Foundation with their Heartstart programme. In Norway, CPR is taught in schools and has helped improve survival rates by up to 40%. 80% of the 30,000 annual out of hospital incidents occur in the home, often in the presence of family members. However, less than 10% of people survive – partly because people don’t know how to perform CPR.