West Yorkshire boy’s charity fund hits £100,000

Reuben and Friends donate beds to CRH's children's ward. Caption (from left): Helen Layden, Michelle Ogden, Healthcare assistant Karrie Martin, Vinnie Cannon, Staff Nurse Sam Smith, Clinical Nurse Manager Julie Couldwell, Staff Nurse Sarah Cockroft.

Reuben and Friends donate beds to CRH's children's ward. Caption (from left): Helen Layden, Michelle Ogden, Healthcare assistant Karrie Martin, Vinnie Cannon, Staff Nurse Sam Smith, Clinical Nurse Manager Julie Couldwell, Staff Nurse Sarah Cockroft.

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A fundraising campaign started six years ago in aid of a little boy with a rare blood disorder has almost reached its £100,000 goal.

The Reuben and Friends charity was formed after Gomersal 10-year-old Reuben Grainger-Mead was found to have a rare condition which meant he could not make his own red blood cells.

Reuben had 22 blood transfusions before his fifth birthday.

When he was four, doctors told his family nothing more could be done for him.

However, his mother Michelle Grainger refused to accept their prognosis and began to look outside the medical profession.

She eventually came across a specialist dietician called Diane Wright, based in Amsterdam, who prepared a special dietary regime for Reuben which involves taking 14 supplements a day.

Two years later, Reuben’s condition had vastly improved to the point where he no longer needed regular blood transfusions.

Now the charity Reuben and Friends, run by Michelle and local working mums, stands on the brink of reaching its £100,000 goal.

They plan to use the money to fund a research project into Reuben’s condition and to find out why the dietary supplement has worked so well.

In 2009, Dr Josu Delafuente, 38, a paediatric haemotologist who works at Imperial College, London and is a red blood specialist, said: “Reuben has been given the amino acid leucine as part of a diet of supplements and this seems to have having a positive effect on him. He is starting to grow properly.

“The trial is fundamentally important because it might help us to understand what is going wrong with cells affected by cancer. It’s all to do with the way proteins are made, the growth of cells and how that is controlled.”

The charity has made numerous donation to local hospitals for equipment.

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