According to a story by Mirror, the Rare Disease Centre at Birmingham Children’s Hospital is set to begin operations after a massive donation by readers of The Star Appeal. Readers raised £3.65 million in just a few months. The centre serves around 9000 young people across 500 different medical conditions including exomphalos and cystic fibrosis. Keep reading to learn more, or follow the original story here for further details.
Reach for the Stars
According to some specialists, as much as 75% of all rare disease patients are children. In roughly 30% of these cases, children living with a rare condition do not survive to the age of five. Perhaps this explains why not only the Star Appeal concerned itself with the issue, but why readers were so eager to show their support as well.
The Sunday Mirror published a story calling on readers to support the new centre which can be seen on the publication’s website along with the original story. It includes not only information about the Rare Disease Centre, but sections about individual children and their stories as well. The initial goal was to raise £3.5 million. The goal was not only met but surpassed.
Building a Place to Help
The new spaces at what the public has named Waterfall House are not strictly business. Pictures taken of the building’s interior show brightly colored walls and furniture. There are plenty of comfortable places for children to sit, and plenty more ways for them to entertain themselves. Video games and a playground are both available for use.
But the centre also packs plenty punch as a research facility. Video equipped conferences will allow communication between specialists in many different regions of the world. Researchers at the centre expressed plans to study hundreds of different rare conditions. In the case of cystic fibrosis, experts have already begun testing with a revolutionary new treatment.
Many young patients have already had their lives impacted by the new centre. Some report multiple visits to multiple hospitals with no clear diagnosis. Others speak of uncommon circumstances their local hospitals were unprepared for. However, patients at the centre share stories of life saving doctors or dedicated treatment at the Birmingham Children’s hospital.
“We are on the start of an incredible journey with rare diseases,” explains Pediatrics expert Professor Tim Barrett, “and are incredibly thankful to everyone who donated.” The generosity of those contributions, he continues, will allow for children to be cared for in ways that are unique and personal. It allows for the care they deserve.