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Celebrations as Birmingham Children’s Hospital Charity’s Star Appeal hits the £3 million milestone

Eight-year-old Matilda Hatton has Sensenbrenner Syndrome and will benefit from the new Rare Diseases Centre

Birmingham Children’s Hospital Charity has announced on International Rare Disease Day (28 February 2017) it has only £650,000 left to raise in its £3.65 million campaign to build the UK’s first Rare Diseases Centre for children.

The Star Appeal, which launched in October 2015, has now hit the £3 million milestone meaning it is one step closer to making the dreams of thousands of young people living with a rare or undiagnosed condition come true.

Treatment for the hospital’s patients with rare diseases is world-class, but many families have to spend a lot of time seeing different specialists on different days in different departments.

To change this, the charity’s £3.65 million Star Appeal will build a brand new centre that will provide a single place within the hospital for all assessment, diagnosis, treatment and research, bringing together – for the first time – a team of experts from specialities across the hospital all under one roof.

Sarah-Jane Marsh, Chief Executive of Birmingham Women’s and Birmingham Children’s Hospital, said: “To have raised £3 million in sixteen months is simply incredible and we want to say a massive thank you to everyone who has generously supported us so far.

“Our Rare Diseases Centre will improve diagnoses, ensure our children and young people are at the forefront of research and medical advances and enable families to spend time together, sharing their experiences of living with some of the most complex conditions imaginable.”

Every year Birmingham Children’s Hospital treats more than 9,000 children living with over 500 rare or undiagnosed conditions.

The Rare Diseases Centre will be housed inside the hospital’s new £37.5 million clinical block, on Whittall Street, along with a brand new combined inpatient and outpatient cancer centre and three new theatres.

Dr Larissa Kerecuk, Rare Disease Lead at Birmingham Children’s Hospital, said: “We’re seeing more and more young people with very rare and complex conditions and each and every child deserves to be treated in a unique and personalised way.

“We’re now incredibly close to making the dreams of our families and patients come true, but still need your help to hit our target. Please consider donating to help us raise the last £650,000.”