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Local business raises awareness of rare genetic condition

A local Somerset business has pledged its support to raise awareness for a rare genetic condition which affects one of its employees. 

Hippychick Ltd, based in Bridgwater, is to work in association with the Childhood Tumour Trust (CTT), a UK based charitable organisation committed to providing support for families living with Neurofibromatosis (NF).

NF affects more than 25,000 individuals in the UK but is actually a little-known about condition for which there is no cure.  It can cause benign tumours to grow on the nerves and skin as well causing cafe au lait patches and problems with bones, eyes and the nervous system.’ 

Mike Bird, Account Manager at Hippychick, was born with NF and has also passed the condition on to his two children. 

Mike said: “I have a tumour on my brain.  Several lesions have recently been discovered on my seven-year-old son’s brain.  My 11-year-old daughter had to undergo eight-hour surgery three years ago as a tumour in her neck started to cause signs of early paralysis. We are in and out of hospital all the time and live in a constant state of fear of the tumours further developing.”

Julia Minchin, Founder and Managing Director at Hippychick, said: “In its 22-year history, Hippychick has raised many thousands of pounds for charities, particularly those where children are involved.  Every year, we ask our employees to suggest charities to support. 

“Mike came forward with the Childhood Tumour Trust who have provided fantastic support to him and his family.  Mike is a highly valued and loyal employee and it has been heart-breaking for us to witness the effects of NF on his family over the years.  It makes perfect sense for us to support CTT this year.”

Hippychick has announced its association with CTT at the end of April, just before Neurofibromatosis awareness month in May and World NF day which falls on May 17.   

The company will also be supporting the Noticing Neurofibromatosis campaign which is designed to raise awareness of the distinctive café au lait patches, the most common and visible indicator of the condition.  It will also be the theme of a campaign to be launched via Hippychick’ s social media channels and website throughout May. 

Donations will also be invited through Hippychick’ s website at  Throughout the rest of the year, Hippychick staff will be organising local events to raise funds for CTT.

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