Pramble to the Prom!

A LOCAL parent and baby group is holding a sponsored ‘Pram Push’ to thank the Bubble Foundation for their support after a Portstewart tot underwent a bone marrow transplant.

Eleven-month-old Oscar McLaughlin was diagnosed with Severe Combined Immunodeficiency (SCID) - a condition which affects the immune system - in December last year.

The rare disorder, also known as the ‘bubble boy’ disease, made Oscar extremely vulnerable to infection and he’s since been kept in a bubble-like sterile environment to avoid catching life-threatening diseases or infections.

On December 28, at just seven months old, Oscar was airlifted from Belfast to the Great North Children’s Hospital in Newcastle Upon Tyne - which specialises in treating the disorder - and he underwent a bone marrow transplant on February 13.

Before his illness, Oscar and his mum Olivia frequently attended Baby Zone, a parent and baby group held in Portstewart Baptist Church every Friday afternoon.

Karen from Baby Zone explained: “Everyone at the group was extremely shocked and saddened to hear of Oscar’s illness and he’s always in our thoughts and prayers.

“We keep in contact with the family and each week we get an update on Oscar’s condition. It’s been a very tough time for both Olivia and Pearse however we know how grateful they are for all the support received from the Bubble Foundation in Newcastle.

“So to show our support and thoughts we are holding a ‘Pramble to the Prom’ to raise funds for the charity that has become so vital to them.

“The walk starts at Portstewart Baptist Church and everyone is welcome to come along, bring a friend, and help us show support for Oscar and his family while raising vital funds for this absolutely worthwhile cause.”

If you would like to take part in the ‘Pramble to the Prom’ simply come along to Portstewart Baptist Church car park on Saturday, April 21 at 10am for 10.30am walk.

Entry fee is a minimum donation of £5 and sponsorship forms are available on request. Fancy dress and prams are optional. Refreshments will also be available at Portstewart Baptist Church after the walk – donations welcome.

For more information call Eilis on 07768211251 or Claire on 07761079022.

Also anyone who would like to donate to the Bubble Foundation can do so through Oscar McLaughlin’s Bubble Page on the website. They have already raised £4,325 of their £5,000 target.

Oscar’s site explains: “I was born without an immune system and am unable to fight even minor infections. Something like the ‘common cold ‘passed on a by my mummy’s kiss could be fatal.

“Mummy and Daddy (Olivia and Pearse McLaughlin) are able to stay near to me in accommodation which is funded by the “Bubble Foundation” a charitable organisation that provides all sorts of support and raises funds for medical equipment, toys and educational aids, welfare of the babies, children and their families, and importantly to fund research required at this cutting edge of paediatric practice. “ ‘Morelli’s To Go’ will also be donating ALL money taken from 4pm to 5pm on Saturday. So if you can’t make the walk please support us by treating yourself and the family to an ice cream.