Whitby woman's fundraising efforts for Reverse Rett charity inspired by her six-year-old cousin

October is Rett Syndrome Awareness month
October is Rett Syndrome Awareness month

A former Miss Whitby Regatta is raising money for a charity which is “very close to her heart”.

Abby Hall decided to fundraise for Reverse Rett in honour of her cousin who was diagnosed with the disorder Rett Syndrome.

'Harriet can always be sure to put a smile on your face by her pure presence'

'Harriet can always be sure to put a smile on your face by her pure presence'

The 23-year-old music teacher has completed the Great North Run and organised a fun day which has altogether raised £1,700.

The inspiration behind her challenges is her six-year-old cousin, Harriet Fusco, pictured, who was diagnosed two years ago.

Rett Syndrome is a rare genetic disorder that affects brain development which results in mental and physical disability.

She said: “It was a massive shock when she was diagnosed because we had never heard of it before.

Abby organised a fun day and completed the Great North Run to fundraise for the Reverse Rett charity

Abby organised a fun day and completed the Great North Run to fundraise for the Reverse Rett charity

“There are one in 10,000 children that have it and it mainly affects girls.

“Harriet has problems with communication due to her condition but she has just learnt to deal with it and she is happy in her own little world.”

The former York university student added that she wanted to raise awareness of the condition due to October being Rett Syndrome Awareness month.

“Harriet was also born in October which is also very fitting,” she added.

Harriet’s family have tried to adapt aspects of their home for the six-year-old.

Abby added: “Her parents have redone the whole bottom floor of their house for her including hoists, amazing beds, bath and just making her life as easy as possible to get around.

“Harriet is the most loveable and precious little girl in the world and can always be sure to put a smile on your face by her pure presence.”

Abby decided to fundraise for the charity Reverse Rett who are the only UK charity that are funding research focused on treatments and to a cure for Rett Syndrome. She completed the Great North Run earlier this year in just under two hours and said that she had “never felt pain like it”.

A family fun day was also organised to raise money which included a raffle, singing and cake sale at Abby’s house which raised £700.

She added: “Harriet’s little brother Alex and sister Matilda were amazing fundraisers and helped me out. Everyone was just so generous that day especially in such a small place. Everyone has just pulled together.”

Abby has opened a JustGiving page for her fundraising and donations can be made at www.justgiving.com/Abigail-Hall1
On her page she explains further about Rett syndrome and explains that the “neurological condition often strikes previously healthy little girls between their first and second birthday and leaves them with multiple disabilities and medical complexities for life.

“Research has shown that girls with Rett do not have brain damage. They know and understand much more than their bodies allow them to show but they are locked in, trapped by a body that cannot obey signals from their brain.

“Whilst there is currently no treatment for Rett Syndrome, there is hope, and together we have every hope for Harriet.”