Dale’s Story
Dale has recently become familiar with the IDFA community when displaying symptoms of an immune deficiency.
Since joining IDFA, Dale has been using the self-advocacy toolkit, which he said, “has been an amazing tool to help/make sure that the medical professionals I come into contact with really understand my specific journey and all the ins and outs of what I’ve been through”.
Up until 2020, Dale was an active, fit, and healthy Australian (originating from England), who has a distinguished academic career – known globally for his work in disaster risk management, government policy, emergency services as well as being the Chairman of the United Nations Global Working Group on Post Disaster and Response and Recovery Assessment.

Since first displaying symptoms, Dale has been on a journey to determine the root cause of his recurring episodes of illness, which range from 2-10 days and come almost every two weeks. The immunology team at St Vincent’s Hospital are continuing to work to confirm the exact kind of immunodeficiency Dale suffers from. As many of our members are already aware, this can be a lengthy process and take years to find out.

Recently, Dale was found (via a PET scan) to have evidence of some Vasculitis (a relatively rare disease that causes inflammation of blood vessels) and was treated for this. Unfortunately, the treatment for this has caused other health implications including life threatening blood clots in his lungs.

Today he is managing his symptoms with a range of medications and has regular blood tests and visits to his immunologist. Although he is grateful for some respite through medication, there are still challenges in everyday tasks. However, he tries hard to look for the joy in everyday and celebrates the small wins, for example, the ability to shower unassisted.

When he can, Dale spends as much time as possible outside gardening. He has found purpose in creating life as he is unable to currently work due to recurring sickness. Gardening has been a way for Dale to support his emotional and mental wellbeing. He often gives the plants away as presents, or sells them at markets, giving away the proceeds to charity.

Although a new member to IDFA, Dale has found solace in knowing that others are in similar situations to himself and is appreciative of finding this community to lean upon.

Published: November 2023