Barefoot Bowls 4 ARRC at Gwandalan Bowling Club this Sunday, September 17

SHOES OFF: Bowl barefoot for just $5 at Gwandalan on Sunday and help to raise money for people living with autoimmune disease. Picture: Jay Cronan

SHOES OFF: Bowl barefoot for just $5 at Gwandalan on Sunday and help to raise money for people living with autoimmune disease. Picture: Jay Cronan

GWANDALAN Bowling Club is the venue this Sunday for a fun day of barefoot bowling, dancing, and family entertainment with a serious purpose.

All funds raised on the day will help to support families living with autoimmune disease.

It will cost just $5 to bowl, and locals are invited to make a day of it. The fun will start at 9.30am and roll on to 4pm.

The Autoimmune Resource and Research Centre (ARRC) reports that autoimmune illness is Australia’s third biggest health issue behind cardiac illness and cancer.

An estimated one in 20 people live with autoimmunity.

The condition includes organ-specific illnesses such as thyroid illness, multiple sclerosis and also systemic illnesses, involving many parts of the body and many organs.

Raising awareness of systemic autoimmune illnesses such as lupus, scleroderma and Sjögren’s syndrome is the focus of the Barefoot Bowls 4 ARRC Day on the Gwandalan Bowling Club foreshore this Sunday, September 17.

ARRC executive officer Dr Marline Squance said autoimmune illness occurs when the body’s immune system has a hiccup and starts attacking its own healthy cells and organs.

“The illnesses often involve chronic inflammation and can range from being mild to life threatening,” she said.

BARE FEET: Get a group of friends together and make a day of it at Gwandalan Bowling Club this Sunday, September 17, from 9.30am to 4pm. Picture: Graham Tidy

BARE FEET: Get a group of friends together and make a day of it at Gwandalan Bowling Club this Sunday, September 17, from 9.30am to 4pm. Picture: Graham Tidy

Autoimmune illness can develop over several years with symptoms varying over time and from person to person.

Symptoms that people present with can range from fatigue, rashes, joint and muscle pains, through to problems with internal cells and organs such as the heart, liver and kidneys.

Symptoms often are not specific, making it difficult to diagnose.

“The ongoing daily struggle patients have with balancing health management of their symptoms and routine life tasks make it important to learn about strategies to help ease illness impacts by patients and family members learning about their illness and developing day-to-day living strategies,” Dr Squance said.

There will be something for all members of the family to enjoy at the Barefoot Bowls 4 ARRC Day.

There will be market stalls, an auction of sporting memorabilia, and family entertainment including dancing displays, a jumping castle, face painting and a sausage sizzle.

For more information and to donate to help the centre continue its work, go to autoimmune.org.au

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