More stars sup­port brave young­sters

Macclesfield Express - - FRONT PAGE - STU­ART GREER

GOLF su­per­star Rory McIl­roy and Take That’s Howard Don­ald have given their sup­port to a brother and sis­ter with a fa­tal dis­ease.

A grow­ing list of celebri­ties are back­ing Ollie Car­roll, four, and his lit­tle sis­ter Amelia, two, who have been di­ag­nosed with Late In­fan­tile Bat­ten Dis­ease, a de­gen­er­a­tive con­di­tion with no cure.

Both chil­dren will lose their speech, mo­bil­ity and eye­sight as they get older, and are un­likely to sur­vive past the age of 12.

Their par­ents Lucy and Mike Car­roll, from Poyn­ton, have started a cam­paign, Ollie’s Army, to raise money into re­search and to raise aware­ness of the dev­as­tat­ing dis­ease.

The cam­paign has gar­nered sup­port from sports stars in­clud­ing world num­ber one golfer Rory McLl­roy, Manch­ester United leg­end Ryan Giggs, Ar­se­nal and Eng­land foot­baller Danny Wellbeck, for­mer Eng­land crikcket cap­tain Michael Vaughan and New­cas­tle Ea­gles Bas­ket­ball team.

Take That’s Howard Don­ald, pop­star Olly Murs and DJ James Za­biela have pro­moted the cam­paign, along with co­me­dian John Bishop, Coro­na­tion Street ac­tor Ryan Thomas, Down­ton Abbey’s Lesley Ni­col, co­me­dian Les Den­nis and Adam Smith from Soc­cer AM.

Fundraiser and fam­ily friend Nikki Ash­well said the sup­port had been ‘over­whelm­ing’.

“It has been so kind of th­ese very fa­mous peo­ple to want to hear about Ollie and Amelia’s story and of­fer their sup­port. It can only help raise aware­ness of this ter­ri­ble dis­ease.”

Ollie was di­ag­nosed in Fe­bru­ary us­ing a ge­netic test. It pro­moted Lucy and Mike to test Amelia, only for the dev­as­tat­ing truth to be re­vealed once more.

The ex­tremely rare con­di­tion af­fects only five or six chil­dren in the UK each year so in­for­ma­tion and sup­port is in short sup­ply.

The cam­paign is also about fund­ing re­search into the dis­ease and fund­ing spe­cial­ist equip­ment for Ollie and Amelia as their health fails.

Ollie’s Army wrist bands are be­ing snapped up by sup­port­ers and fundrais­ing events have taken place all over the world.

Lo­cally there as a bike ride from Ollie’s school, Ver­non pri­mary, to Snow­don in Wales which raisd more than £6,000 and fundrais­ers came from Money Ad­vice Group, St Paul’s Catholic Pre-school, Poyn­ton, and the Sim­ply Be Team.

Mean­while, Collin Man­ford, brother of co­me­dian Ja­son, has agreed to be the pa­tron of Ollie’s Army.

For more in­for­ma­tion go to ol­liesarmy.co.uk

●● Rory Mcll­roy with his Ollie’s Army cam­paign wrist­band

●● Amelia and Ollie Car­roll

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