A SCHOOLBOY with a rare genetic condition has inspired his classmates to raise vital funds for a children’s hospital.
Callum Conway, is one of just 400 youngsters in the country with a rare kidney condition called steroid-resistant nephrotic syndrome The Pitsea ten-year-old has to travel to London to Great Ormond Street Children’s Hospital every three months for tests, and wanted to give something back to the dedicated doctors and nurses who care for him.
Callum and mum Emma Conway, 37, of Malyons, Pitsea, wrote a letter to his school, Felmores Primary, asking teachers if they’d organise a fundraising event.
Mrs Conway said staff and pupils had gone “above and beyond”, raising £600 with a busy, week-long activity programme.
She added: “I expected them to just organise a dress-down day, but they really did go all out. I can’t thank them enough.
“To look at Callum, you wouldn’t know anything was wrong. The school has always known about his condition, but I don’t think it has really sunk in before.
“Sometimes, he will just swell up, and he gets out of breath so he can’t run around as much as the other children. He’s at the age now where he’s noticing more, and keeps asking me why he is different.”
Callum was diagnosed with the syndrome when he was just two. Already his kidney function has reduced by 40 per cent, and will continue to decline.
Many sufferers are eventually forced to undergo kidney transplants.
Callum has tried chemotherapy tablets in the past, but at the moment, there is no cure for his condition, which is caused by a genetic mutation.
A team of ten children on the student council at Felmores Primary, in Davenants, Pitsea, organised a range of fundraising events, including a cake sale, a 5k fun run and a fete.
Teacher Linda Olisse said: “The pupils very much took ownership of their own events.
“After we read Callum’s letter, they all went back to their individual classrooms and came up with fundraising ideas.
“They seemed to be really moved by his story.”