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CHARITY MATTERS: Trio’s 10-mile race to help toddler Polly
THREE self confessed couch potatoes got through a 10-mile race knowing every step was for a very special little girl.
Toddler Polly Stafford has an incurable genetic condition called Tuberous Sclerosis, which causes tumours to grow on her organs.
The two-year-old has benign tumours on her brain, kidney and heart, which also cause other health problems including seizures.
Her dad Tom Stafford, 36, has pledged to raise cash for good causes in the hope “the universe will send her some goodwill back in return”.
On Sunday he was joined by best friends John Gatrell, 25, and Jason Brown, 37, to help him raise cash for charity Tuberous Sclerosis Association.
The trio wore T-shirts printed with Fat Tom, Fat John and Fat Jase to complete the Great South Run, in Southsea, and have so far raised £2,235.
Mr Stafford, of Bicester, said: “This is a lifelong condition for her and there is no cure so essentially this means all you can do is manage the various issues these tumours cause as best you can.
“I plan to fundraise as much as possible in the hope the universe will send her some goodwill back in return.
“Anyone who spends two minutes with her will see she is a very special and happy girl who doesn’t deserve any of the stuff she has been through in the two and a half years she’s been around.
“In that spirit two of my very best friends joined me this time round to do their bit to help her.”
Doctors detected a problem with Polly’s heartbeat in the final weeks of mum Leanne’s pregnancy and tests after Polly was born confirmed Tuberous Sclerosis.
Mrs Stafford, 33, said: “We just carry on as normal and try to keep life as normal as possible.”
Polly is on daily medication, and has a special diet to try and control seizures.
Mr Stafford, an account manager for a Marlow-based IT firm, has completed two half marathons and several fun runs already for other causes.
To support the team, view www.justgiving.com/TomDuckandFatJase
What is Tuberous sclerosis?
According to the Tuberous Sclerosis Association, the condition affects one in 6,000 births and about one million people worldwide are affected.
TS is a genetic disorder that causes tumours to form in vital organs, including brain, heart, eyes, skin, kidneys, lungs, and can cause epilepsy, learning disabilities, autism spectrum disorder and kidney problems.
Symptoms vary, with some people having a few to others being severely affected.
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