Eczema so bad this Banora 8-year-old can't walk
EIGHT-year-old Cohen Parker is suffering such intense and painful eczema he's had to stay at hospital overnight 32 times.
Mum Carlee Parker said the boy had stoically endured the pain of his skin condition, known as atopic eczema, since he was six-weeks-old.
But when Cohen's skin breaks due to itchy, red swelling, it allows infections to seep into his blood and causes so much fatigue that on some days he can't walk.
Dad Andrew Parker said the family had exhausted biomedical doctors, immunologists and nutritionists, with no mainstream medical option left but to resort to chemotherapy.
"Life's pretty tough for Cohen, he wakes up a couple of times a night, the itch gets to him and he ends up screaming," Mr Parker said.
However, the Avene hydrotherapy centre in France promises to heal the condition using mineral-rich thermal spring water in hydrobaths and has specific preparations for conditions like Cohen's.
Mr Parker said after initial online consultations, doctors were confident they'd be able to create long-lasting results for the boy with three, 21-day treatments in line. The family has budgeted $10,000 per trip, hopeful of a cure.
"Cohen will get into a hydrotherapy bath with spring water full of minerals the body seems to appreciate to rejuvenate the skin," Mr Parker said.
"Then an hour massage on a wet table and he'll have a massage with the creams made by dermatologists who believe they will heal his skin.
"They'll treat it through hydrotherapy and you need to drink 5 litres of the water a day."
A fun walk from North Kirra to Bilinga has been organised by Cohen's uncle Brad Smith of Banora Point owner of Betts Fitness to help raise funds, with over $30,000 needed for the treatments.
"We're also looking to put a hydrotherapy bath in at home and that will cost about $5000," Mr Smith said.
Mrs Parker said she was humbled by the $29,000 already raised in less than a month with her boss Jade Vincent of Banora Point creating a MyCause page and giving her a month's leave.
"It just restores you faith in community - the attention and the support," Mrs Parker said.
Cohen said he would scoot the walk and is "in the middle" of considering whether he wants to take the trip, the first of which is in October, because his "ears will get sore" in the plane.
He's allergic to crepes but is looking forward to seeing the Eiffel Tower in Paris.
WALK FOR COHEN
WHAT: 5km walk to raise money
WHERE: North Kirra to Bilinga
WHEN: Saturday, September 10. Meet at Kirra Surf Club from 8am
ENTRY: By donation