Whitley Bay mum’s hair-raising condition awareness plan

Rae Lowe and husband Peter with their children Gideon, Henry, Zachary, and Rafferty.
Rae Lowe and husband Peter with their children Gideon, Henry, Zachary, and Rafferty.

A mum has dyed her hair in a bid to raise money and awareness of a rare condition that her son suffers from.

Rae Lowe lives in Whitley Bay with her husband Peter and four sons, one of whom, Gideon, has Prader-Willi Syndome – a complex medical condition that can cause life-threatening obesity.

Rae Lowe and her son Gideon.

Rae Lowe and her son Gideon.

The 42-year-old has teamed up with Tracy Whelan, hair and make-up artist for Byker Grove and Tracy Beaker, for the re-style, using colours from the logo of the Prader-Willi Association.

Rae – also mum to Henry, ten; Zachary, seven; and Rafferty, one – said: “Gideon is a lovely little boy, but his syndrome means he finds life much harder than his peers.

“He is behind in his development and doesn’t talk yet, although he is very good at sign language.

“But PWS is such a rare disorder, and so many people have never heard of it, so I wanted to do something to raise both money and awareness of the condition.”

Tracy added: “Rae wanted to support the Prader-Willi Association so we looked to the colours of its logo for inspiration and settled on pink, purple and orange. I think she looks fantastic.”

PWS is a rare genetic disorder and is the most common cause of life-threatening childhood obesity, brought to the public eye by Katie Price, whose son Harvey also suffers from the condition.

Those with the condition face challenges including an uncontrollable appetite, learning and behavioural difficulties, incomplete sexual development, short stature and scoliosis.

Techniques such as putting padlocks on fridges and installing gates are recommended for dealing with the condition.

Rae added: “Gideon seeks food a lot. He steals food from the floor, from bins, from the cat. If the fridge is left unlocked he will go through it. He steals food every day.

“His food seeking started relatively early. Some people are lucky enough not to have to consider it until their child is well into adulthood. Already we have to lock the kitchen and Gideon eats something he shouldn’t every day.

“Of course, I worry for Gideon; I worry about his future, but I do hope and pray that we will find effective treatments for the worst symptoms – the hunger, the anxieties.

“Raising awareness will help raise funds for both support for families and medical research too.”

To sponsor Rae visit https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/RaeLowe

For more on PWS visit www.pwsa.co.uk/