Little Rowan, pictured right, was diagnosed with the debilitating inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) when she was just two-years-old.
Her gran Pat Gair said the little girl suffered six months of sickness, severe stomach pain, bloody diarrhea and extreme fatigue before doctors finally worked out what was wrong.
There is no cure for the chronic, lifelong condition and the only treatment available is aimed at suppressing the symptoms which can have horrible side effects. Rowan is one of thousands of children in Scotland suffering from the condition.
This country has one of the highest rates of Crohn’s disease in the world and the numbers are rising rapidly, particularly among children.
Pat said: “The medication made Rowan so sick. She would vomit every morning before going to school.”
The little girl also suffers from extreme joint pain.
Pat added: “It’s a terrible condition and I don’t think people realise how bad it is.
“It’s great the Herald is raising awareness of the disease. It is very often overlooked.
“More and more children are being affected. It’s also an invisible disease. On the outside, you just can’t tell and some people can be very judgmental.
“I lifted Rowan on to a supermarket trolley because her legs were so sore and someone commented that she was not a baby and should be walking.”
Many young people with the disease require frequent hospitalisation and a growing number have to have their colon removed because of the extent of the disease.
Pat is a volunteer with Glasgow-based charity Cure Crohn’s Colitis. which the Herald is supporting through our ‘Mad Hatter’s Easter Party competition.
The charity is made up entirely of volunteers and gives 100 per cent of its funds to medical research.
We are asking readers to raise money for the charity and be in with the chance to win Easter goodies.
Pat, who has raised around £4,000 for the charity through a fund-raising auction and draws, said: “I hope there are lots of entries and a lot of money is raised for research into this dreadful disease.”