At the 20-week pregnancy scan our daughter, Amalie Maya Dodson, was diagnosed with Spina Bifida; a neural tube defect that affects approximately 1 in 1,000 babies. Amalie was diagnosed with the most severe form of Spina Bifida - Myelomeningocele. This is also the most common form of Spina Bifida, and in Amalie's case would highly likely mean full paralysis of the legs, urinary and bowel dysfunction and learning difficulties. She would have needed an operation as soon as she was born, and a shunt attached to her brain which would always be at risk of becoming infected and causing further brain damage.
We had to make the heartbreaking decision to terminate the pregnancy in to order free Amalie of the inevitable pain and suffering she would have endured throughout her life. This has by far been the most difficult thing we have ever faced. We'd like to help prevent the future suffering endured by couples, families and their babies.
Amalie was born on the 22nd Dec, but her due date should have been the 27th April 2019. This is when we will complete the hike, taking a moment at the top of each peak to remember Amalie.
We will be joined on the day by lots of our family and friends, who are doing the challenge with us to help us achieve the ambitious £5,000 we are aiming for. Together we can raise more and the further our story reaches the better, therefore please feel free to share this page with your own family and friends.
At present it is not known what causes Spina Bifida in the early stages of the development of babies. Research has shown that babies are less likely to develop Spina Bifida when women take folic acid supplements before and during pregnancy. However, as we found out personally, these supplements are not always effective.
There are research studies currently being carried out that are attempting to find more effective ways of reducing the risk of babies developing Spina Bifida in the future. For example, the vitamin Inositol is believed to provide further protection to babies in the womb. It's hoped this vitamin could lead to a cheap, effective new approach to help reduce the number of babies born with NTD's in the future.
The aim of our Yorkshire 3 peaks challenge is to raise the much needed funds required to provide continued research into the future prevention and treatment of Spina Bifida and other neural tube defects. Together we can help eliminate Spina Bifida forever.
Thank you very much in advance for your support. Every penny will make a difference and we are so very grateful.
In memory of our little angel!
Jade and Mark x