Dianne delivers syndrome boost

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Burnfoot school teacher Dianne Murphy is once again raising cash for a charity close to her heart by asking friends to donate £20 instead of sending Christmas cards.

Over the past six years, Dianne has boosted the coffers of five local and national charities by more than £15,000 – and past beneficiaries include the Margaret Kerr Unity at Borders General Hospital and Hawick cancer charity Love Life.

This year’s charity cash totals £3,340 is going to the Potocki Lupski (PTLS) Outreach Foundation. Dianne explained: “My close friend Ali Beaton has a four-year-old son, Lucas, who has PTLS – a duplication of genes on chromosome 17 – which is very rare as only one in 20,000 people have it.

“It can cause delays in development, in areas such as speech, communication, low muscle tone, sleep apnoea, heart defects, and short-term memory. These kids are always smiley, though, and they call it the happy gene.

“It’s such a rare syndrome that no doctors that Lucas’s parents consulted had ever heard of it, so really there is little known about it, and funding is needed to do more research.”

Dianne added: “I’ve chosen the Potocki Lupski Outreach Foundation this year because I’d firstly like to raise awareness of PTLS and help out those kids and families affected with this syndrome.

“And secondly, I’m so proud and inspired by one of my best friends, Ali. She does so much research into how to help Lucas and has tried different diets, learning methods and strategies to meet his specific needs.”

Dianne would like to say a massive thank you to everyone who donated and she hopes that the money and the new knowledge of PTLS will help Lucas and many other families.