Stevenage tot Eden inspires cystic fibrosis charity football match

PUBLISHED: 06:59 08 May 2018

Dan Prowse and Charlotte Sellis with baby Eden and her nine-year-old sister Paige. Picture: JP Asher

Dan Prowse and Charlotte Sellis with baby Eden and her nine-year-old sister Paige. Picture: JP Asher

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A baby Stevenage girl's treatment for a genetic disorder without a known cure has inspired a charity football match in aid of the hospital supporting her.

Dan Prowse, third from right, with Hitchin Town FC players and staff ahead of the fundraiser in aid of the Great Ormond Street Hospital Children's Charity. Picture: Peter ElseDan Prowse, third from right, with Hitchin Town FC players and staff ahead of the fundraiser in aid of the Great Ormond Street Hospital Children's Charity. Picture: Peter Else

Eight-month-old Eden Prowse has been living through constant medication and check-ups since she was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis – a disorder affecting organs including the lungs and pancreas – as a newborn.

Parents Dan Prowse and Charlotte Sallis are profoundly thankful for the support from London’s Great Ormond Street Hospital – and now relatives, friends and members of the wider community, including former and current Hitchin Town footballers, are rallying around to help them give something back.

Dan will captain the Eden All Stars team against the Hitchin XI in the match at the Baldock Arena on Saturday, May 26 – ahead of a fun day for kids, raffle, disco and much more.

Asked how it felt to have everyone rallying around like this, Dan said: “It’s really amazing and it proves that community really comes together in hard times.”

Speaking to the Comet across a table in Stevenage’s Tom Tiddlers Tavern, Charlotte said Eden had been diagnosed at three weeks old after a heel prick test.

“It was a bit of a shock,” she said. “The next day we had to go straight to Great Ormond Street and they threw all the medication and physiotherapy at her straight away. Eden’s lungs and pancreas get full of mucus so they don’t work properly, which means she can’t digest food.

“It stops her from putting on weight, and her growth is also affected. She needs daily physio, which at the moment is bouncing on a yoga ball with a breathing mask, and she has four medications a day.”

Eden also has to have check-ups every two months at GOSH. The brave tot has so far done well in doctors’ tests to see how much air she can hold in her lungs.

Cystric fibrosis is a life-limiting condition, and Charlotte said that without complications they can expect Eden to reach the age of 30.

Dan, Charlotte, Eden and nine-year-old sister Paige share a two-bedroom Stevenage Borough Council home in Bedwell – which has become an issue as someone with cystic fibrosis should have a separate bedroom to help prevent cross-infection.

They have been seeking a larger home from the council since Eden was diagnosed, citing what the hospital has told them, but have so far had no success.

Councillor Jeannette Thomas, who is responsible for housing at the borough council, told the Comet the council was treating the family as high-priority due to Eden’s need for her own bedroom, and “doing all we can to help” – but that rehousing could take some time because of the high demand for council homes.

“Luckily we’ve got support from our family,” said Dan. “They all support us. But as Eden gets older it’ll be worse. As a last resort she could need a lung transplant.”

He added that he and Charlotte would like to thank the staff at Great Ormond Street for their outstanding work helping them and so many other families, as well as Hitchin Town FC for all their support.

The idea for a charity football fundraiser to give something back to the hospital came from Dan’s longstanding connections with Hitchin Town – which go back to when he used to watch them with his grandfather as a boy. He later played for the Canaries’ academy.

“They all thought as a club they should do something to help,” said Dan. “One of the players’ young daughters has had cancer treatment from GOSH and is now in remission, so he particularly wanted to help.”

The Eden All Stars will be managed by Hitchin Town’s Derek Barker, with Jackie McDonald and Lawrence McNeill as coaches.

The match kicks off at 10.30am on May 26, with the kids’ fun day from 1pm to 6pm. There will then be a disco, raffle and more for the grown-ups at Tom Tiddlers Tavern in Stevenage from 8pm.

Tom Tiddlers pub landlord Dan Richardson is also set to raise money during his appearance as one of two local amateurs at a darts showdown featuring former world champs Phil ‘The Power’ Taylor and Raymond van Barneveld at Stevenage Arts & Leisure Centre on Friday, May 18.

To find out more ahead of the charity match, call Dan Prowse on 07746 602301 or look at facebook.com/tomtiddlerstavern2016.

You can also support the cause online by donating at justgiving.com/fundraising/charlotte-sallis.

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