THE plight of a little girl with a condition so rare that it has no name has touched the heart of a burly Kinross policeman who is determined to raise more than £20,000 to help her.
James Thomson (43) is organising a series of fund-raising activities in conjunction with Cash for Kids for one-year-old Hannah Gould, the niece of one of his colleagues in Tayside CID.
Hannah was born with an as yet undiagnosed eating disorder which prevents her from being able to consume any food or fluid orally.
Since birth, she has suffered from severe reflux, which causes her extreme pain and suffering.
Currently she can only be drip-fed via a gastric tube which has greatly hampered her growth and development.
“Hannah has received fantastic support and palliative care from specialists at the Royal Hospital for Sick Kids in Edinburgh,” said James.
“However, they are currently unable to find a cure for this rare condition.
“To seek the necessary psychological care required to hopefully cure Hannah, her parents have sought specialist help at a clinic in Germany.
“The cost of the treatment is anticipated to be in excess of £20,000.”
Hannah has already been assessed as suitable for the treatment, having been visited earlier this year by Markus Wilken, a developmental psychologist who specialises in treating babies and children with feeding disorders.
Next on James’ fund-raising agenda is a 240-mile mountain bike ride from Fort William to South Queensferry, where Hannah lives with her parents Justin and Lesley.
He’ll set off on Friday, September 14 and is due to pass through Kinross on September 16 en route for the final stage over the Forth Road Bridge.
Later in the month, on September 29, he’s holding an auction/quiz night at the Green Hotel, Kinross.
James said: “The ‘bike’ is only just over three weeks away and I’m really looking forward to it. It will be a hard slog, but well worth it.
“One of the other purposes of this fund-raising is to raise awareness of Hannah’s condition.
“Since we started, more parents have come forward indicating they have children suffering from similar conditions.
“By raising awareness, Hannah’s parents hope to show other parents there is light at the end of the tunnel.”
To sponsor James, donate prizes or get tickets for the auction, call him on 01577 861230.
For more information, visit www.forth2.com/charity/help-hannah-feed/