Having a Ball!
Family’s invite to latest fundraiser event
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