Wigan family raising thousands to help youngster with rare condition

The brave tot suffers from a debilitating condition which affects just one in a million people.

Thursday, 15th July 2021, 2:31 pm
Updated Thursday, 15th July 2021, 2:32 pm
Joe and Chloe Banks with Luca
Joe and Chloe Banks with Luca

Luca Banks, from New Springs, is just one of fewer than 100 people in the country who have Alternating Hemiplegia of Childhood (AHC), which causes him to suffer serious seizures and paralyses parts of his body.

The 22-month-old tot was diagnosed with the condition in March after genetic tests were done at a hospital in Manchester.

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Chloe and Joe Banks with their twin sons Albie and Luca

They have already raised an impressive £20,000 and have received support from the staff at the Tesco Extra superstore on Central Park Way.

Chloe, 29, said: “When Luca turned one everything spiralled out of control.

“His episodes became more prolonged, he would be unable to swallow, his whole body would be limp like a ragdoll, he wouldn’t be able to move himself off the floor, his whole body would shake and he would be in pain with spasms. He would be like that for a week, make a recovery and then his eyes would start twitching and you would be back to square one.

“He’s on medication now which has improved his quality of life. He still has episodes but they aren’t as prolonged.

The family at the Tesco superstore with Julie Murphy and Wendy Hart

"During some of them he can't even swallow and you can't help him because when you go to hospital there's nothing they can do.

“We’re fund-raising to help look for a cure through gene therapy. I just want him to be happy and not affected by the condition.

“We’ve got very supportive friends and family and we couldn’t have coped without them.”

Tesco put a wishing well for Luca at the front of the store for customers to donate and staff worked an extra hour and gave cash to the fund-raising. In total the supermarket team led by community champion Julie Murphy raised £1,427.

Wellbeing champion Wendy Hart said: "We have been overwhelmed with the response we've had from customers for the wishing well. Everybody has been very happy to help Luca.

"I think Wigan is a very generous borough."

Chloe and Joe’s local pub The Crown Hotel at New Springs has also helped with the fund-raising while Joe, 32, is preparing for a bike ride from Southport to Old Trafford.

Find out more or donate at www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/ahcwarrior-lucabanks

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