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Anna Middleton from Loughton says that today's national 'Jeans for Genes' day will make a huge difference to families
Thousands of people across the nation are dressing-down at school or work today as they raise money for genetic disorders.
National ‘Jeans for Genes Day’ has people donning denim to support families, like the Middletons from Loughton, whose lives changed when their six-year-old son was diagnosed with Smith-Magenis Syndrome.
Ben, who attends Oak View School in Whitehills Road, suffers from recurrent infections and has problems eating, as well as difficulty speaking.
Anna Middleton, 37, says that she is grateful to everybody taking part as funds go to support the SMS Foundation which has supported her and husband Mark, 36.
She said: “It was difficult in the beginning. Health visitors told us that all babies develop at different stages. But he wasn’t doing what he should have been doing.
“He was finally diagnosed when he was one. It was a shock but in a way we were pleased because we had an answer.
“The charity has been great. We’ve been able to meet other families and ask them questions, you know ‘is this normal?’ that kind of thing. Facebook has been a god-send too, for speaking to other parents.”
Mrs Middleton also praised Epping Forest District Council’s support of children with disabilities and Ben’s school.
She said: “Oak View is a fantastic school and Ben has really come on since he started there.
“The summer was made so much easier by the programme of activities put on by the council. It’s difficult having to phone up and ask somewhere if they will take a child like Ben. That really eliminated the worry.”
To find out more about Jeans for Genes, visit http://www.jeansforgenesday.org/.
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