CHEEKY fundraisers will strip down to their undies on Valentine’s Day for the annual Cupid’s Undie Run.
Starting at Fremantle Esplanade, the 1.5km “walk, run or dance” will raise funds for the Children’s Tumour Foundation and research into neurofibromatosis.
The little-known condition causes tumours to grow on nerves in the body and can lead to blindness, bone abnormalities, deafness, disfigurement, learning difficulties and death.
A genetic disorder, it can also cause a person’s body to be covered in peanut-sized lumps, and there’s no cure.
Sufferers endure bullying and isolation and the Undie Run is a humorous celebration of difference, says WA organiser Donna Roberts.
She knew there was a problem with her newborn daughter Seren when she saw cafe au lait birthmarks on her skin, but health professionals failed to diagnose NF until she was being treated for an unrelated condition, aged two.
“The doctor asked, ‘How is it going with the NF?” Mrs Roberts says.
“I recently had to explain to a doctor what the condition is.”
Seren, now seven, has around 30 lumps under her skin and is often teased at school.
She recently had a number that were causing painful itching to her scalp removed.
But surgery isn’t the answer as more tumours are likely to form, Mrs Roberts says.
“You have to make the hard decision to cut out more and be covered with scar tissue.”
The Undie Run is a fun way of raising awareness, and for NF sufferers and their families to get together.
“We can get together with the lumps and bumps and have a good chuckle,” Mrs Roberts says.
To help NF kids and their families go to http://www.cupidsundierun.com.au and break out your best undies.