Comfortable In Her Own Skin

September 16, 2019
Topics: Donors, Riley Kid Story


Because of Riley, my daughter Lydia is finally comfortable in her own skin―literally.


Lydia was born with chronic eczema and several food allergies. For years, my husband and I took her from doctor to doctor in Evansville, trying everything under the sun to figure out how to help our daughter. Eczema covered her entire body causing her constant discomfort, trouble sleeping and an unrelenting urge to itch. We jokingly worried that her first words would be the ones she constantly heard, “Do not itch!”


In kindergarten, Lydia wore gloves to school to keep from scratching, and she would often have to leave class to get lotion from the nurse. It wasn’t until 2017, when Lydia was referred to Riley Hospital for Children at Indiana University Health, that we were able to get clear answers and a care routine that we follow to this day.


Riley Pediatric Dermatologist Anita Haggstrom, M.D., had us replace all of Lydia’s soaps, implement natural light therapy and follow a strict nightly bath, lotion and gauze wrapping routine. A chemical test revealed Lydia’s eczema was heavily fueled by an allergy to nickel, which we had no idea was in the cans of her favorite food and ironically even in her “Food Allergy Alert” necklace.


Dr. Haggstrom’s calm and confident guidance on how to take care of our daughter empowered us as parents. She also empowered Lydia to know how to take care of her body. Because of Dr. Haggstrom, Lydia had a miraculous skin transformation.


Today, she is a happy, active and eczema-free 10-year-old who enjoys playing the piano and ukulele. She is on the elementary school track team, something she never would have been able to do before. Lydia gets excited for her Riley doctor’s appointments and loves showing Dr. Haggstrom her progress, which is a true testament to the quality and personalized care at Riley Hospital for Children.


Lydia wants to be an allergist and dermatologist at Riley just like Dr. Haggstrom when she grows up so she can help other kids, like her, live better and fuller lives.


These kids are our future. Supporting Riley means supporting them, and more happy outcomes.

Donors’ support helps Southern Indiana children treated at Riley’s 14 specialty services and clinics at the Deaconess Riley Children’s Specialty Center.  

Visit to make a gift.


Stephanie Aldridge

Riley mom from Evansville, IN

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