CHARLES GRAHAM - Worthiest of causes

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WE cover a lot of charity appeals and feature many illnesses in these pages, but Non-Ketotic Hyperglycinemia (NKH) was a new one on me.

That is until I learned that the son of my colleague Paul Kendrick is a sufferer.

It is a rare genetic disorder that affects one in 60,000 infants born.

It means they have problems breaking down the amino acid glycine, excessive amounts of which affect the function of the brain.

Typical symptoms include seizures, low muscle tone and severe problems with learning and development even in terms of eating, sitting and walking.

Our man at the Latics and his wife Emma were told that son Joseph’s condition was so bad that he was unlikely to make it home from hospital.

It’s difficult to imagine any worse news to deliver or accept.

But young Joe confounded the medics and the odds and three years on he is in a stable condition with medication helping to keep his disorder in check.

He does require round-the-clock care though and research still has a long way to go into averting, lessening the impact or curing this disorder.

Which is why we this week launched a major appeal to boost research funds in Joseph’s name.

It has already got off to a stupendous start after Paul’s friend Alex Brooker donated £25,000 of the money he recently won with comic Josh Widdicombe on The Million-Pound Drop to Joseph’s Goal.

What a terrific and selfless act that was and a great example to set to everyone else (although I don’t think Paul and the rest of us are expecting most folk to emulate that kind of amount on their own!).

Wigan Athletic have also thrown their high-profile support behind the appeal whose money will go to the University of Colorado UK Foundation Limited.

So it’s full steam ahead now and let’s do it for Joe!