Aunt to take on Great North Run for niece with rare condition

Jersey Hardisty.

An aunty is in training for the Great North Run in a bid to raise money for her niece who was born with a rare condition.

Money raised by Anita Ibbotson will pay for treatment for five-year-old Jersey Hardisty, from Leyburn.

Jersey was five-months-old when her family found out that she had a duplicated chromosome, which is as a very rare condition.

At this point, there were only 14 others in the world with this same duplication.

After seeing Jersey’s paediatrician and geneticist, Jersey’s parents Clare and Gavin was told that the youngster was unlikely to walk, talk or even recognise the difference from her mummy to a random stranger.

She would need to have her organs tested as her condition had shown that some didn’t function properly, including her sight and hearing.

After several months of looking at what treatments were available for Jersey, her parents decided to look into alternative therapies.

They sought out others with Jersey’s condition.

This prompted the parents to look at new treatments including ABM neurodevelopment, Cuevas Medek Therapy and smiLE Therapy.

The family say these have helped Jersey make huge progress in catching up with so-called ‘normal’ childhood milestones.

The family has travelled thousands of miles up and down the UK working with the few practitioners that offer these therapies.

However, they say the best progress has happened with practitioners overseas and in 2020 they took Jersey to America.

Anita Ibbotson with Jersey.

Anita said: “Since attending a block intensive course and bringing the programme back home, Jersey has progressed immensely despite what was said, she can now walk.”

She added: “Two years on and she has plateaued a little but there’s progress still to be made which is why we are looking for Jersey to attend another block intensive.

“These therapies are not NHS recognised — they are paid for by ourselves and this is why we are doing the GNR on Sunday, September 11.

“I’m so proud to say Jersey will also be doing the Great North Mini, Saturday, September 10 at her own pace.

“Considering we were once told not to ‘waste our time and money on these therapies and put the money towards a better wheelchair for her as she gets older’ this is such an achievement.

“We will never give up striving for these opportunities for Jersey to access these alternative therapies.

“Over the last two years, Jersey has worked so hard by doing her exercises most days. She has shown amazing determination and resilience and we just want to build on this.”

Anita, who suffers from arthritis, will take on the the Great North Run with both Jersey’s parents.

The family is hoping to raise more than £1,000 with over £450 already pledged,

You can sponsor them by clicking here.