Featured CDH International’s Denmark Ambassador is Rikke Hammer. Rikke is the mother to CDH survivor Milton.
Rikke is married to Mark Hammer and they live in Denmark, Europe. They have a son, Milton with CDH who is now 7 years old and about to start school.
Rikke has a degree in medicine (not a licensed doctor), but has used her knowledge to run a Danish NGO for people with Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, which she has. This has given her a solid understanding of the Danish healthcare system and a good, strong network. There are no similarities between EDS and CDH, yet the problems you face in the healthcare system being a “rare condition” are the same, and it’s often that the doctors and care staff she sees has never seen a case like hers or Milton’s before. She has quickly become her own doctor, nurse, consultant and expert on her own disorders, going above and beyond professional care staff in knowledge. She very much believes you need a network to consult, to ask questions, to assist and to support you in your medical and everyday life.
When they first learned they we were having a CDH baby, they used all her medical knowledge and network to try to get their head around it. And to her disappointment, she couldn’t find any other family in Denmark to talk to, and often got conflicting information about CDH. Rikke did however find CHERUBS who has helped them to get the all facts and statistics about CDH and additionally a network of lots of other families to lean upon. This has been priceless as Denmark is a very small country with only 5.7 million inhabitants. Doctors only see about 6 CDH cases a year and therefore don’t have lots of hands on experience.
Now, as a mother to a child with CDH, Rikke once again had to study a new diagnosis and get acquainted with all that it involves. Milton was an insanely severe case with only 10% survivor chance, and he has had his challenges growing up. His stomach acts up from time to time, and he still need oxygen and antibiotics at home as a backup when the flu or cold comes around.
Rikke looks forward to be that family she couldn’t find herself, when she needed someone to talk to. She wants to be the link to CDHi who can provide extra support, information, knowledge, experience and a large worldwide network. Rikke wants to be the one who truly understands and has been on the roller coaster ride herself, she just wants to be there, listening and supporting others.