A DETERMINED mum from Stalybridge is on a mission to raise money to help her three-year-old daughter who has a life-limiting illness.
Jenny Croce launched the ‘Fundraising for Florence’ campaign after her toddler was diagnosed with Late-infantile Gangliosidosis (GM1) last November.
The disorder progressively destroys nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord and currently has no known cure.
However, doctors at a veterinary hospital in Alabama have found a cure in animals and it is hoped clinical trials in humans can take place next year.
Jenny and her family have already raised around £36,000 towards Florence’s place on the trials, starting with a trip overseas in October to meet the doctors.
Jenny said: “Florence was diagnosed last November and she is doing really well considering what we were told.
“She is a really strong-willed little girl. Nothing stops her or gets in her way. She climbs and crawls to where she wants to be and makes it known what she wants even though she can’t talk.
“This condition has already taken her ability to walk and talk and we’ve been told will take her sight, hearing, mobility and swallowing. It could lead to seizures and take her life around the age of ten.
“None of us know what the future holds but being told your daughter may not live past the age of 10 makes you really live in the moment.”
During their trip Stateside, Jenny will be also meeting the Braggs family, whose daughter Clara is a couple of months younger than Florence and also suffers from GM1.
Jenny added: “The money we are raising is going towards the treatments, but to also make magical memories for Florence and her brother Riccardo.
“We have sent some money to the GM1 charity in America but we are not sending it all in case Florence doesn’t make the trials as there will be a strict selection process and it depends on if Florence is well at the time.”
Florence, who is also under the care of a chiropractor, homeopath and cranial osteopath, started at recently Oakdale Special Needs School, where she is thriving.
“Her diagnosis had totally turned my world upside down, but I’m determined to do everything I possibly can to make her life the best it can be,” added Jenny.
That included taking part in the Salford 10K in September, and also doing a sponsored sky dive next January with her twin brother Trevor to mark their 40th birthday.
And there is a musical extravaganza on Saturday, November 11 at 8pm at The Church of the Nazarene, Ashton, OL6 7LJ, to raise more funds for Florence.
The evening will see Rachel Swanick on violin and Vic Mead on piano, playing favourite classical anthems with a little added tango spice.
Tickets cost £5 each or £10 for families of three or more. Refreshments, sweet treats and tombola available. Tickets are available on www.eventbrite.com (search ‘Florence’s Concert’) or call Rachel: 07948 131 474.
Find out more about Fundraising for Florence or make a donation on their Just Giving Page. Also find out more on Facebook /fundraisingforflorence