Izzy’s Disney dream can come true

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Izzy and younger brother Daniel

Izzy and younger brother Daniel

A brave toddler battling an extremely rare form of Anaemia is being taken to Disneyland Florida after community fundraisers gathered thousands of pounds for the little girl who has had over 30 blood transfusions.

Izzy Foster, from Bootle, was taken to hospital when she was eight months old because her parents noticed she wasn’t growing properly. She was diagnosed with two rare conditions, Diamond Blackfan anaemia and Turner syndrome.

DBA is very rare affecting around 600-700 people worldwide and just 125 people in the UK. Sufferers produce no, or very few, red blood cells which are needed to survive.

The three-year-old has had a blood transfusion every month since her diagnosis and will be receiving a bone marrow transplant from her donor match and two-year-old brother, Daniel, in the near future.

Money was originally being raised for the trip by Jupiter Morris Dancing, where Izzy dances, but when they couldn’t gather enough donations troup member Kelly Jones approached Flame Spirit Golf Society for help.

The local charity, based in Netherton, carries out several fundraising events in the area all year long and dedicated over a month’s worth of events in aid of Izzy’s trip.

Paul Mcmullen, Head of Flame Spirit, told JMU Journalism: “It’s so she has something to look forward to, she’s a brave little girl.”

The first of three events was a Man v Food challenge with whopping cheese burgers and a large side of chips. This was followed by a bushtucker trial which challenged fundraisers to eat fish eyes and insects and finally their annual drag walk saw a group of cross-dressing participants walk the streets from Netherton to the Bootle New Strand collecting money in buckets.

Friend Kelly Jones said: “It was the vilest thing I’ve ever done. We had grass hoppers, very large fish eyes and this vile drink with meal worms in. I’ve never smelt anything so horrible in all my life! The drink was definitely the worst of all of them. I thought if this doesn’t get her to Disneyland I don’t know what will!”

Izzy Foster with mum Annie receiving their cheque

Izzy Foster with mum Annie receiving their cheque

Friends and family gathered in the Eden Vale pub to present Izzy and her parents with a cheque for £3,600.

Izzy’s mum, Annie Foster, told JMU Journalism: “It’s been fantastic and overwhelming, I just wasn’t expecting the amount of money. Izzy loved it too, she was dancing and people were coming up and speaking to her, she was in her element. I was gobsmacked. Most of the people didn’t even know us and to do something like that for people you don’t know is fantastic.”

To read more about Izzy and her conditions or to donate please click here.

About Rachael Bentham, JMU Journalism