Brave Blake’s diagnosis solves mystery Leeds family illness

Two-year-old Blake Taylor from Cross Gates who has cystic fibrosis. Picture Jonathan Gawthorpe
Two-year-old Blake Taylor from Cross Gates who has cystic fibrosis. Picture Jonathan Gawthorpe
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The diagnosis of a brave two-year-old, who has life-limiting cystic fibrosis, has helped to uncover a family illness that has been mistreated for half a century.

Blake Taylor’s family was told that the tot had the incurable genetic illness, which mainly affects the lungs and digestion, following a heel prick test when he was just three weeks old.

The family investigated the condition to find that Blake’s grandmother, 50, was born with a lesser form of the disease which had earlier been diagnosed as chronic asthma and caused her decades of issues including contracting pneumonia several times.

Two years on, the Cross Gates tot’s battle with the disease continues - he faces daily physiotherapy and is on regular medication - which has sparked his parents into fundraising action.

They aim to raise £8,000 for a special physio vest that will help alleviate his symptoms.

His mother Hollie Evans, 28, told the Yorkshire Evening Post “My mum doesn’t have the same mutation as Blake but she’s have had it for 50 years without proper diagnosis.

“Blake’s got an older brother who doesn’t have it and he’s questioning why he’s got medicine and his brother doesn’t. He takes it fine but you can tell he’s questioning it.

“We tell him he’s a superhero and that helps us give him the medicine - we say he’s got special powers.”

The family has rallied behind Blake and launched a fundraising campaign to pay for a vest which will help to loosen the mucus in his lungs.

They have launched an online donation page, which has so far raised nearly £800, and placed donation tins in four east Leeds shops.

Cystic fibrosis is the result of a single defective gene which causes the internal organs, especially the lungs and digestive system, to become clogged with thick sticky mucus resulting in chronic infections and inflammation in the lungs and difficulty digesting food.

The disease can significantly reduce the life expectancy of those afflicted by it and there is no known cure.

Hollie said: “He’s very boisterous and constantly on the go, which is a good thing as the more he exercises the better, but sometimes he literally doesn’t sit still.

“I try not to think too much about the future as when I do it’s not nice. We take each day as it comes. I’ve just come to terms with it - it’s not nice to think about.”

To donate to Blake’s appeal visit www.justgiving.com/blakesvest