Fundraising for our little smiler

Kirstie Aitchison with her daughter Elisha.
Kirstie Aitchison with her daughter Elisha.

A mother and father’s world was turned upside down when their only daughter was diagnosed with a debilitating neurological condition.

Kirstie Aitchison gave birth, for the first time, to a healthy little girl in 2011.

Kirstie and partner Craig Clarke, of Wheatley, Halifax, grew increasingly concerned about the development of Elisha when she stopped waving and communicating at around nine-months-old.

After visiting their GP, Elisha was referred to Calderdale Royal and, after a series of tests, in February this year, she was diagnosed with Rett Syndrome - a genetic disorder which affects one in 12,000 females; causing severe physical and mental disability.

“We were devastated - all our aspirations for our child went from 10-zero in seconds. She will never go to normal school, drive or even get married as she is likely to remain totally dependent on us or carers for the rest of her life.”

Elisha has a one in five chance of walking and chances of her talking is low, unless a medical breakthrough is discovered.

“We’ve had to learn to accept it. And she’s a beautiful happy little girl - she’s our little smiler. We live in hope that a cure is found.”

The couple are now fundraising for Cure Rett in the hope of finding a cure for the condition affecting their little girl and others.

On Sunday, they are holding a fundraising day at St Malachy Parish Rooms, Ovenden Way Top, Ovenden, from 1pm onwards and welcome people to join them.

On the day, Elisha will meet two-year-old Oliva - a local girl who has also been diagnosed with Rett Syndrome.