Brave girl in desperate need of rare condition cure

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A brave girl with a rare form of arthritis is the inspiration behind a fun day organised to help find a cure for her condition.

Mum Trish Andrews wants to raise awareness of Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis (JIA), which affects one in every 1,000 children in the UK, including her daughter Eliza, 6.

On Saturday, June 3, families are invited to a Wacky Races event at West End Park, Cleckheaton, to help fund research into the painful condition.

There is no known cure for JIA, which and can lead to a life-long battle with pain and medication for people with severe forms.

Miss Andrews, 39, of Hightown, said Eliza was having tests to find the best treatment for her.

She said: “A lot of children grow out of it, which is fantastic, but because of the severity - Eliza has around 20 joints affected - it’s unlikely she will.

“There’s no cure at the moment. A lot of children respond to treatment and some go into full remission.

“Eliza is one of the unlucky ones where it it’s never quite fully under control.”

Miss Andrews said Eliza took her first steps as a baby at ten months old. But just weeks later she had stopped walking, could barely sleep and was constantly upset.

At 18 months she was diagnosed with JIA.

Eliza, who lives with her mum and sister Zara, 3, also faces a battle to save her sight because of a related condition called Uveitis, which affects her eyes.

Miss Andrews said: “It’s closely related. There is a one in ten chance she’ll lose her sight.”

Parents and children will take part in races including egg and spoon and wheelbarrow at the June 3 fun day from noon-4pm.

There will also be music, kite flying, a tombola and glitter tattoos. It has been organised with the help of the Friends of West End Park and Cleckheaton and District Rotary Club.