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Purley schoolgirl's genetic disorder inspires Jeans for Genes day at Riddlesdown Collegiate

1.5 from 6 votes
Tuesday, October 16, 2012

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A schoolgirl used her own genetic disorder to lead a charity effort at her school - raising hundreds of pounds for those with similar disorders.

Hannah Bridges, who has Phenylketonuria – meaning she cannot eat fish, eggs or meat – helped organise a Jeans for Genes day with her mum at Riddlesdown Collegiate.

The 12-year-old's condition means she can only consume around six grammes of protein a day – or be at risk of being left permanently brain-damaged and wheelchair-bound.

Hannah, of Haydn Avenue, Purley, said: "I have to plan my meals every day.

"I do find it hard sometimes because I want to just eat stuff at school that my friends have like pizza and chips, but I know if I do something bad could happen."

Hannah, who manages to swim for Croydon Amphibians, run cross-country for the school and trampolines every week despite her condition, also had a little help from her friends.

She added: "It's great because all my friends have been really supportive.

"It has also been a learning experience for them because many wouldn't have thought I have a disorder because I don't look disabled."

Her condition means she does not have the enzymes in her blood which convert protein into a safe substance for her body. Instead, more than six grams of protein a day would become toxic over a long period.

The average tin of baked beans contains ten grams of protein.

Mum Caroline, 44, said: "It is not easy because she can't just open a yoghurt or lots of other food and she has never been able to have the school dinners, but it doesn't stop her."

Jeans for Genes Day raises money for charity Genetic Disorders UK, which offers support to sufferers.

Around one in 25 children in the UK is born with a genetic disorder.

Source: This is Croydon
1.5 from 6 votes
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