A world-leading paediatrician has spoken out on the vital need for funds to support research into children’s immune deficiencies.
Professor Andrew Cant, director of the Children’s Bone Marrow Transplant unit at the Great North Children’s Hospital, Newcastle, spoke out in support of The Bubble Foundation UK’s biggest-ever fundraising appeal, ‘Bubbles for the Bubble’.
The Bubble Foundation UK is a charitable organisation which works in partnership with the unit, funding research into cutting-edge treatment for children born with immune deficiencies.
Professor Cant said: “One in 500 children have some form of immune deficiency, but children with these conditions are still a rather forgotten group.
“Not much resource is being devoted to caring for them, to supporting them or into the research to find out more about what causes it and how to treat it.
“It is vital that we raise funds to finance medical equipment, toys and educational aids as well as support the welfare of the babies, children and their families, and importantly fund the type of research that is required at this cutting edge of paediatric practice.”
The Bubble Unit needs to raise around £500,000 to fund vital new strands of research into the causes of these immune deficiencies in children, and to ultimately improve the lives of people with immune disorders.
The Bubble Unit has made huge progress in the treatment of children with these debilitating conditions, but ongoing funding is vital if the progress in treatment is to continue.
Recent advancements have included finding ways to make bone marrow transplants – often the only means of treating sufferers – a less traumatic and painful process for the patient, including a new way of the parent of the child donating bone marrow.
Prof Cant added: “We’ve come a long way but there is still a huge amount to do.
“Without treatment, children with the most severe immune deficiencies will usually die within the first year of life.
“The vision I have is that all children with a primary immune deficiency could be diagnosed as small babies and we would have a treatment that is 100 percent successful 100 percent of the time.
“With advances in laboratory work and research I think that’s possible within the next couple of decades, but finding the funding for this research is vital.”
People can donate to the ‘Bubbles for the Bubble’ appeal by texting BUBB01 (+ amount you want to donate – £1, £2, £3, £4, £5 or £10), to 70070, or via www.justgiving.com/bubblefoundation
For more on the Bubble Foundation visit www.bubblefoundation.org.uk