Welcome to this autumn/winter edition of Touching Lives, which is packed with articles on our latest research work and fundraising.
On pages 4 to 5 you can read our moving cover story about baby Scarlett, who was born with a rare brain disorder that means she reacts in an exaggerated way when startled. Scarlett suffered her first of many seizures just a few hours after birth and spent her first five weeks of life in hospital. Read about how her family has learned to live with startle disease – and how your support helps more babies like her.
2012 has been a year of celebrations for us as we mark our 60th anniversary. Our spring issue included an article on how the charity was set up in 1952 by Duncan Guthrie to fight the deadly virus polio. For this issue, we’re highlighting some of our other successes, so turn to pages 10–12 to read about some of the amazing medical breakthroughs our supporters have helped fund through the years.
See pages 6 to 9 for a preview of the most recent research projects we have been funding, including helping to improve a diabetes vaccine, seizures in babies and vitamin D deficiency.
This issue of Touching Lives is our first during our 60th anniversary year. We hope you enjoy it!
It contains updates on our research and activities, as well as ideas of how you can help make the year extra special. You can read about our history and successes on page 12, plus we've also set up a dedicated page on this website so can you see what we’re doing to mark the occasion, or turn to page 7 for our handy hints.
On pages 4-6 you can read about Cieran, who became seriously ill as a baby after contracting meningitis B. Fortunately, Cieran survived and his twin brother Connor escaped infection. But the Cieran who returned home from hospital was a very different little boy – profoundly deaf with very little speech, epilepsy and cerebral palsy.
Cieran’s story reminds us of the need for further research into serious illnesses and infections like meningitis B. On pages 8-11 you can read about some of the projects we have been funding, such as those helping to predict premature birth and stem cell research that could help babies with a life-threatening bowel condition.
This issue of Touching Lives features two families whose lives have been affected by an inherited disease that can damage children's lungs and airways. Little Malachi was given an early diagnosis but not all children are as fortunate, so Action is funding research to ultimately help speed up diagnosis.
You can also read about how a gift in the will of Gordon Walkinshaw helped the family of two-year-old Jack, who was born with a genetic eye condition called primary aphakia.
Elsewhere in the magazine there are updates on our Touching Tiny Lives appeal, our research into a vaccine for MenB and projects on sickle cell disease, obesity, movement difficulties and preventing premature birth.
In this issue of Touching Lives, we bring you the moving story of five-year-old Jack Morley who was diagnosed with brain cancer as a baby. We are funding a study to find what causes brain tumours in children under three and Jack’s mum Lisa tells us why she is supporting this vital research.
We also look back at the impact of our Scotland-based successes over the years and bring you up to date on some recently awarded grants.
Our fundraising news includes the launch of our women-only bike ride led by Davina McCall.
In this issue of Touching Lives, we hear from Emma Greenhouse who has had severe epilepsy since she was eight. Emma’s mum explains why one of our latest projects, a clinical trial looking at whether light therapy can provide an effective treatment for epilepsy patients, is so important.
We also look at the impact of some projects funded by Action Medical Research – you can read about how we’ve helped prevent brain damage in newborn babies, and contributed to preventing and managing childhood meningitis.
And there’s lots of fundraising news including our record-breaking London to Paris bike ride and new events for 2011.