You may or may not have heard of a little girl called Ella-Grace Honeyman. Four days before her first birthday in June 2008, Ella-Grace was diagnosed with the rare and life-threatening brain condition Vein of Galen Malformation (VGAM).
Ella-Grace’s story has tug at everyone’s heart strings at UAP, especially those who have children of their own. David Jennings, MD at UAP, says “I can’t imagine the pain and heartache Ella-Grace and her family are going through. I have three children of my own, and Ella-Grace’s story is certainly something anyone with a child can relate to. I would encourage everyone in our industry to pull together, and donate anything you can to the Life for Ella-Grace Fund to get this little girl to New York to have her next operation.”
Vein of Galen Malformation is a large deep vein at the base of the brain. The capillaries, which normally slow blood flow and allow oxygen exchange with the surrounding tissues, are missing. Blood flows directly from arteries into veins without slowing down and without releasing its load of oxygen and nutrients. It is evident at birth and develops during weeks 6-11 of fetal development. Ella-Grace’s first symptoms were pronounced veins on her head and forehead at around five months old. They progressively became very prominent and widespread and her head was found to be growing out of proportion to the rest of her body. Due to the very rare nature of the condition, it was six months before a diagnosis was made following an MR brain scan and clinical photos being shared with specialist hospitals.
So far, Ella-Grace has gone through several embolizations, however each of these come at a huge expence. Ella-Grace is currently waiting for her next operation on 23rd July 2014. Her family are striving to make the £60,000 required to allow Ella-Grace to have the operation in New York, and are now only £20,000 away.
UAP have tried to help Ella-Grace and her family, and have kindly donated £1,000 towards the operation. However Ella-Grace is still trying to get to the £60,000 target. You can donate yourself by visiting www.lifeforellagracefund.co.uk, and can donate via PayPal. Alternatively for more information you can contact the fundraising chairman Steve Read on: 07949871013 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.