A Wigan charity has brought together three leading researchers to the north west to accelerate the search for a cure for an incredibly rare genetic disorder.
The Joseph’s Goal charity is fighting for a cure for NKH, the life-limiting condition from which nine-year-old Joseph Kendrick suffers.
Joseph was famously Wigan Athletic’s lucky mascot at the 2013 FA Cup final, when he was carried on to the field by skipper Emmerson Boyce before the 1-0 victory over Manchester City.
And it was perhaps fitting that the Beetham Tower, Manchester hosted the get-together for UK familes affected by NKH, along with Dr Nick Greene (University College, London), Dr Johan van Hove (University of Colorado) and Dr Kasturi Haldar (Notre Dame University, USA), who presented their latest findings to the group.
“It was fantastic to see the NKH families – friends old and new – here in the north west,” said Emma Kendrick, mum of Joseph and a founder of the charity.
“Parents, their NKH children and siblings, were able to catch up after the research updates, and it’s always fantastic to hear of the ups and downs that other families are going through, similar to us.
“All three researchers have now achieved real breakthroughs, and progress is being made with chaperone and gene therapy.
“We hope to hear more updates as the months go on. All researchers were extremely positive about finding a treatment for children suffering with NKH in the not-too-distant future. Hope is definitely on the horizon!”
Joseph’s Goal is the leading source of NKH research on the planet, and recently presented a cheque for $300,000 – handed over by charity ambassador
Sean O’Loughlin, during his recent trip to Denver with the England rugby league team before their clash with New Zealand – to Dr Van Hove for his research.