Since everyone helped to begin the realisation of our dream for Ella and her buddies and to find a way to prolong and save her sight and those of others....you all helped raised well over £67,000 to start the Shine the Light on Aniridia research at Moorfields Eye Hospital. Dr Victoria Tovell has now been in post for over a year.
'Project Fairy Queen' as it is fondly referred to within the research team has made great strides but funds are needed to ensure the research continues for Ella and all those in her shoes.
Professor Julie Daniels has given us this update.....
'The previous funds raised are being used solely to support the salary of Dr Victoria Tovell, a post-doctoral research scientist working with Prof Julie Daniels. 'Project Fairy Queen' is now entering a new phase whereby we are trying to make healthy cells, isolated from normal donor corneas, behave like the diseased cells in Aniridia so that we may study them in the laboratory. To do this we need to silence the activity of the Pax6 gene and this requires expensive molecular biology laboratory reagents. If successful, this work will contribute to our understanding of the significance of Pax6 in the support of normal stem cell activity in the cornea and hopefully provide therapeutic targets to maintain stem cell activity for longer in patients with aniridia-related keratopathy (ARK). One of the fundamental goals of this current research phase is to generate sufficient data with which to apply to the Medical Research Council for a 3 year project grant to support our Aniridia research.'
£1000 of the funds raised will also be donated to Aniridia Network UK. ANUK have supported us as a family like many others with their tireless and selfless work on behalf of those with Aniridia and families supporting those with Aniridia.
'Aniridia Network UK is a support group and charity for people affected by Aniridia: those who have it plus their family, carers, doctors and educator and other support givers. We want all these people to be hopeful, confident, supported and well informed regarding Aniridia. Since formation in 2000 our entirely unpaid team of trustees and volunteers has consisted mainly of people with Aniridia and their parents. Our funding comes entirely from donations.' www.aniridia.org.uk
THANK YOU for your support!