TODAY the Wigan Evening Post is proud to launch a new campaign in honour of a brave young boy.
Three-year-old Joseph Michael Kendrick has the extremely rare genetic disorder – Non-Ketotic Hyperglycinemia (NKH) – and we hope to raise money to fund much-needed research into the condition.
Joe has a personal connection with our newspapers, as he is the son of the Evening Post and Observer’s Wigan Athletic correspondent Paul, from Standish.
Paul, 35, and his wife, Emma, have had to endure the heartache of being told their son would not make it home from hospital, and then that little Joe may struggle to live beyond six months.
But, three years on, Joe is now in a stable condition with medication helping to keep his disorder in check.
Proud dad Paul said: “He has shown us he wants to fight all the way, and we are determined to fight on his behalf to help create awareness of this devastating condition, find a better treatment for him and others, and one day find a cure.
“As parents, we are very proud of our strong and resilient young boy. He has done so well, and exceeded all expectations.”
Paul, a former Standish High School and Winstanley College student, said: “We think we’re so lucky to have him, we live day to day.
“For the first few months we were waking up and checking if he was still breathing – it was that worrying.
“But fortunately he’s been stronger than anyone would have predicted, and we’ve been able to control his medication. At the moment he’s comfortable, it’s just a case of managing it.”
Joe now has a best friend to share his experiences, as Emma and Paul – who met at the University of Central Lancashire and have been married for six years – welcomed another son, Sam, into the world 18 months ago.
Paul said: “The interaction between them is great. Sam will grab his ear and Joe will have a little smile.
“He knows who Sam is, definitely. Sam will just come up with a pair of socks or something and drop them on his brother’s stomach. It’s just nice to watch them interact.
“As Joe is more stable, we’re looking to the future a little more. It’s such an under-researched condition, which is the reason why we want to raise some money.
And so today we invite our readers to raise money for NKH research in Joe’s name.
Please follow @josephsgoal on Twitter, or visit our website
To make a donation towards Joseph’s Goal, with every penny going towards research into NKH, please click here
SEE THE WIGAN EVENING POST (MONDAY) FOR THE FULL STORY ...