August 20 2014 Latest news:
Sunday, April 6, 2014
A well-known TV personality joined a charity “toddle” to raise money for research into a rare condition affecting a Swanton Morley six-year-old.
Brooke Sprawling has a degenerative illness known as ataxia-telangiectasia (A-T) which causes severe disability in children and significantly shortens lives – but currently has no effective treatment.
Her mother Justine organised Brooke’s Easter Toddle in aid of the A-T Society, an event which saw about 20 children walking around Swanton Morley Primary School’s field, collecting Easter treats, chocolates and balloons as they passed each checkpoint.
ITV Anglia presenter Becky Jago was invited to the event to judge an Easter bonnet competition and she brought her 17-month-old son Rupert to join in with the fundraising effort.
She said: “It is obviously a very rare condition, and the more people that know about it, the more money can be raised. Brooke is so bright and bubbly – things cannot be easy for her, but she is always smiling.”
Brooke took part in the walk alongside her 13-year-old brother Caleb and her father Stefan.
Mrs Sprawling said A-T was already beginning to affect Brooke’s mobility. “She will be in a wheelchair by the time she lives this school,” she said. “Her immune system is non-existent and she needs constant medication to keep the bugs at bay. Her speech is affected, and so are her reading and writing skills. She gets tired very easily too.
“It is life-shortening and it is very rare. There are only about 200 people in this country with A-T and Brooke is only the second person in Norfolk to have it, that I know of.
“It is really important to raise the money. The A-T Society don’t get much from the government so they rely on people doing stuff like this, and it is mostly the families of those few people with A-T who are doing the fundraising.”
For more information about the A-T Society, see www.atsociety.org.uk.