Teenager with rare disease that causes tongue to bleed in fundraiser at Leeds gym

A teenager who suffers from an extremely rare disease that causes her tongue to swell and bleed has organised a fundraising event at a Leeds gym to thank the hospital that treats her.

Saturday, 23rd October 2021, 4:45 am

Rachel Forrester, 18, works as a receptionist at Premier World Fitness in Garforth and is staging the fundraising day at the gym on Sunday October 24.

Read More

Read More
More blood donors needed in Leeds as 1,500 fewer donations made last year

Rachel, of Ackworth near Pontefract, was just four-years-old when she was diagnosed with Microcystic Lymphangioma, which causes blisters and bleeding on her tongue.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Rachel Forrester. Photo: James Hardisty

She underwent two operations to remove parts of her tongue as a child.

On both occasions her tongue swelled to such a degree that it threatened to block her breathing and she had to undergo further treatment to reduce the swelling.

Last year Rachel started a new treatment at James Cook University Hospital in Middlesbrough.

Rachel Forrester. Photo: James Hardisty

She is having injections of a chemotherapy drug in her tongue and was placed in an induced coma in the hospital's Paediatric Intensive Care Unit after her first round of treatment.

This Sunday's (October 24) fundraising event will run from 11am to 3pm and there will be a live singer, games, stalls and competitions.

In July Rachel ran a 24 hour trail race and has so far raised around £7,000 towards her target of £20,000 for the hospital.

Rachel said, “I can’t thank the team enough for everything they did for me and my family while I was going through this incredibly tough time.

Rachel Forrester Photo: James Hardisty

"They have helped me so much and I want to give something back."

The money raised will go towards light panels and a light box projector to enhance the sensory experiences of children forced to stay in bed in the paediatric intensive care unit.

It will also be used to buy a TV plus DVDs, toys and books.

Rachel has also pledged to fund an ultrasound machine if she reaches her £20,000 target.

She has set up a Facebook page called “Rach’s JCU Hospital Fundraising” where people follow her journey and all her fundraising activity.

Rachel's JustGiving page is called 'Rachel Forrester is fundraising for South Tees Hospitals Charity'.

Support the YEP and become a subscriber today. Enjoy unlimited access to local news and the latest on Leeds United. With a digital subscription, you see fewer ads, enjoy faster load times, and get access to exclusive newsletters and content. Click here to subscribe.