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Raising funds for the DSD Patient Open Day

Raising funds for the DSD Patient Open Day

On Sunday 15th July, Louise Williams (pictured), Clinical Nurse Specialist in Paediatric and Adolescent Complex Gynaecology (PAG) at UCLH, took part in the British 10k London Run with her partner Gareth. They raised £445 to help pay for an open day for patients who have a group of conditions called Differences of Sex Development (DSD).

DSD refers to a group of conditions which affect the biological sex development of a person. Louise works with a gynaecology team which supports patients who have a range of different needs. Overall, DSD conditions are thought to affect around 1 in 200 people. Despite this, these are conditions which are not openly discussed and many patients report feeling isolated and lonely. 

The open day provides patients with the opportunity to come together and talk about how their condition affects them, to access information on different topics and to meet other patients and get to know one another. The morning sessions were supported by clinicians from UCLH, who spoke amongst other topics about bone health, hormone replacement therapy, fertility and womb transplants. A pyschologist spoke about intimate issues that affect patients and emotional support was provided for those who needed it. A member of Intersex UK described her experience of ‘coming out’ about her diagnosis to friends and family which was both moving and empowering for others in the room who were considering telling more people about their condition. 

The afternoon was dedicated to providing patients with the chance to talk about their personal experiences of having a DSD and to review the day as a whole. Friends and family were in a separate group and given the opportunity to talk about how it feels to support their loved ones. 

Louise said, “We received some really lovely feedback from patients and family members about the day. Days like this are so important for bringing people together to share experiences outside of a clinical setting, to talk about what is important to them and who they are.” 

UCL Hospitals Charitable Foundation is extremely grateful to Louise and Gareth for taking part in the British 10k to raise much needed money to fund this important day.