At Action we hear many stories about babies who have been born prematurely. Some, like cover star Freya’s, thankfully have happy outcomes. But sadly some don’t. Despite advanced medical care, some babies don’t make it. And others who do can suffer long-term disabilities caused by their early arrival, such as cerebral palsy or learning disabilities.
Common to all the stories shared with us are the fear and uncertainty for the future that families face. With weeks, sometimes months spent in hospital. As one mum put it: “When babies are born extremely prematurely, all the lovely bits of having a baby are taken away.”
This is why we’ve launched the BORN TOO SOON campaign. Read all about it in this issue, and find out how you can get involved.
Also in this issue is great news of positive results from research you’ve previously helped fund – work towards unlocking the causes of pre-eclampsia and findings that are already helping women to reduce their risk of stillbirth. Plus new research, including work that hopes to further reduce the numbers of babies born with spina bifida.
Plus don't forget to order your Action Christmas cards – every penny from their sale comes straight to us to help fund more
Premature birth is a big focus for us at the moment and our cover star Jack’s story really highlights why tackling it is so important. In many cases, like Jack’s, doctors simply don’t know why labour started so early. New research is looking at the role infection can play as a trigger. Plus we have an update on work that has now taken doctors a step closer to developing a blood test to identify women who have an increased risk of having their baby too soon.
Our Research Training Fellowship scheme supports some of the most promising doctors and researchers early in their careers. Many of these people go on to achieve big things, like Dr Manju Kurian. The scheme is 45 years old this year and I hope you’ll feel proud that your support today is helping develop leaders of the future in children’s research.
Of course, we continue to need your help to fund more medical breakthroughs. And our summer Action Cream Teas fundraiser is a fun and easy way to do this – we’d love you to get together with friends or colleagues and join us for a guilt-free tea-break treat!
Thank you, as always, for your support.
It’s always real family stories that best show the true value of the research we fund – and how important your generous support is. In this issue we feature a teenager who was born with a cleft palate and still struggles with his speech and a 10-year-old girl who faces daily, debilitating pain caused by a rare condition. Thanks to your help, new research is now underway and offers hope for the future for children like these.
As you read this, a new batch of research proposals are being assessed through our gold standard scientific review process. In October our Scientific Advisory Panel will meet and decide which are the strongest, ensuring we fund only the most promising work. Among these will be the first projects to be funded through our new Saving Tiny Lives research campaign. I look forward to updating you next time on the projects that are chosen and hope you will support the appeal.
And if you are already thinking ahead to 2018, then please check out our latest fundraising events – including some great new ones.
Thank you for your support.
We’re delighted to be celebrating our 65th anniversary this year. We’ve been funding vital medical research since 1952, when we helped introduce the first polio vaccines in the UK. Since then supporters like you have helped fund more than £117m of research, resulting in some amazing breakthroughs. But there is still so much more to do. Which is why we hope you’ll enjoy reading about what we’re doing now and new research we’re funding.
This spring issue features current projects to tackle complications caused by cystic fibrosis and to help babies who have suffered life-threatening brain damage at or around birth. Plus there’s news of research to help children like our gorgeous cover star Tom who has severe cerebral palsy.
We’re also excited to share some success stories, including how Action funding has made a global impact helping to diagnose and support children and young people with developmental coordination disorder.
As always, everything we do is only made possible through the support of people like you, who help us fund the very best research. So thank you.
And please don’t forget to join us for our Cream Teas fundraiser this summer!
Here at Action we’re very proud of the research we fund to help babies, children and young people. This year we’ve had two wonderful opportunities to showcase this important work at prestigious events, one of them held at Buckingham Palace no less (which you can read about here).
Of course, it’s thanks to supporters like you that we are able to fund life-changing medical research and this new issue of Touching Lives highlights more of the vital work you are helping to make possible. It illustrates the hope being given and progress being made, thanks to your generous donations.
Our cover star Kira reminds us how, sadly, life can change in an instant. A terrible accident as a toddler caused major brain injury and, despite making an amazing recovery, it has left her with long-term disabilities. We’re currently funding two projects to help children who have survived serious head injuries.
We hope you enjoy reading about how, together, we are making a difference for sick babies and children.
PS Please don’t forget to order your charity Christmas cards from us. Every single penny raised from their sale comes straight to Action!