08 October 2010

Stem cell therapy holds key for battling bub

BABY Emma was just hours into her life when she started suffering seizures.

Eight months later and diagnosed with cerebral palsy, epilepsy and stalled mental development, her hope for a better quality of life is in the hands of European scientists.

Her family is hoping to raise $35,000 to take Emma to Germany to receive the latest stem cell treatment.

Her mother Doreen Deede told The Cairns Post her daughter struggled to swallow food, play with other children and even reach for toys.

"But there's hope with the stem cell treatment - it's not a miracle cure but it will just improve things for her," she said.

"Maybe she will even be able to speak or walk."

After complications during labour, Ms Deede barely had time to hold her newborn baby before doctors rushed her away for treatment.

"She was born all floppy and was a greyish-blue colour," Ms Deede said.

"She was not able to breathe and the doctors had to resuscitate her and so, she suffered some brain damage."

Just hours after the arrival of her first child, the Cairns single mother's life was thrown into turmoil, with Emma suffering seizures throughout her first night.

"Then when she was three or four months old she was diagnosed with cerebral palsy, epilepsy and her development is mentally delayed," Ms Deede said.

Having survived her tumultuous start, Emma now faces a new challenge to improve her future, with Ms Deede hoping to travel with her daughter to Germany next month to receive some of the latest stem cell therapy treatment.

The community has already banded behind mum and daughter to help raise the funds.

On Sunday, yoga-goers will stretch out their spines and open their wallets, performing 108 Sun Salutations at Knoff Yoga School from 7am.

In a final fundraiser, families will comb through clothes stalls, face painting and a petting zoo at a pre-loved toy sale at the Brothers Hockey Club in Calanna Park from 8am to 2pm on October 16.

While Emma's condition sees her struggle at meal times to swallow her food, play with other children or even reach for her toys, Ms Deede hopes the therapy will help her daughter gain some kind of independence as she grows older.

"I often think what kind of quality of life she will have in a wheelchair the rest of her life," she said.

"There are a lot of question marks."

At a cost of $10 those interested in participating in the 108 Sun Salutation event on Sunday can contact Joyce on 0429 322 896.

Further donations can be made by contacting The Cairns Post. Pledges will be passed on to Ms Deede.

No comments:

Post a Comment