Hav­ing a Ball!

Fam­ily’s in­vite to lat­est fundraiser event

Airdrie & Coatbridge Advertiser - - Po­lice Ap­peal - Ian Bunting

The fam­ily of coura­geous Cairn­hill young­ster Jes­sica Sul­li­van are look­ing for peo­ple to slip on their best danc­ing shoes to help their on­go­ing fundrais­ing cam­paign – which has col­lected an as­ton­ish­ing £16,000 in just seven months.

Last year, we re­ported on 11-year-old Jes­sica’s bat­tle with “rare and dev­as­tat­ing dis­ease” Ring Chro­mo­some 20 Syn­drome, which af­fects only 100 chil­dren across the world.

Jes­sica and her loved ones have been do­ing their bit to help fund re­search into her in­cur­able con­di­tion, which causes her to suf­fer from 10-to-15 “vis­i­ble sta­tus seizures” ev­ery day.

The All Saints Pri­mary School young­ster is also un­der a strict ke­to­genic diet, with ev­ery meal hav­ing to be weighed and con­sumed with a 50 per cent fat con­tent, in what has proved to be an ef­fec­tive way of help­ing her con­di­tion.

Jes­sica’s fam­ily set up a 12-month long pro­gramme of fundrais­ing ac­tiv­i­ties in aid of char­ity Ring20 Re­search and Sup­port UK and fol­low­ing the suc­cess of pre­vi­ous events, which in­cluded a Hal­loween party and race night, are pre­par­ing to host a Gala Ball at Glas­gow’s five-star Radis­son Blu Ho­tel on Satur­day, April 21.

Jes­sica’s mum Claire, 43, said: “We are sit­ting at just over £16,000 at the mo­ment, which is ab­so­lutely fan­tas­tic.

“We have been over­whelmed by the gen­eros­ity of the pub­lic and our fam­ily and friends have been a god­send.

“Through­out our cam­paign, we’ve used the word ‘fun-rais­ing’ to ex­em­plify what it’s all about, and by rais­ing aware­ness of our events, lo­cal busi­nesses have been col­lect­ing funds for the char­ity on our be­half.

“Our big­gest event so far was the race night, which raised a ter­rific £4000; I’ve also done a few cof­fee morn­ings at work and we’re do­ing a climb up Ben Ne­vis on Septem­ber 1.

“We urge as many peo­ple as pos­si­ble to join us for the Gala Ball as it’s sure to be a lot of fun; it will be hosted by for­mer Pop Idol win­ner Michelle McManus, a three-course meal will be pro­vided and en­ter­tain­ment in­cludes an auc­tion, danc­ing and mu­sic from The In­vi­ta­tions.”

Jes­sica’s strict new diet has re­sulted in an im­prove­ment in her day-to-day life – but the brave young­ster still faces a chal­leng­ing fu­ture.

Claire ex­plained: “Jes­sica still suf­fers from seizures, but not to the same ex­tent as she did be­fore she be­gan her diet.

“She has her good and bad days and though the diet has had a mas­sive im­pact thus far, we know that won’t al­ways be the case.

“But Jes­sica re­mains a true in­spi­ra­tion to us all; she is still play­ing foot­ball and took part in the North La­nark­shire Schools’ cross-coun­try event, where she fin­ished 21st.”

The Gala Ball kicks off with a re­cep­tion and drinks at 6.30pm and tick­ets are still avail­able, with a ta­ble for 10 cost­ing £600 and en­quiries en­cour­aged for in­di­vid­ual tick­ets, priced £60.

To book a place at the fundraiser, visit Jes­sica’s Ring20 Jour­ney page on Face­book.

Jes­sica and her fam­ily are pic­tured (above) re­ceiv­ing a £500 do­na­tion from the Air­drie, Coat­bridge & Dis­trict Bat­tal­ion of the Boys’ Brigade at Air­drie’s New Well­wynd Church.

Sup­port Jes­sica ac­cepts the Boys’ Brigade’s do­na­tion

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