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  • News

Families hope for drug breakthrough

Wednesday, 2nd January, 2019 11:43am

Story by Jacqueline Hogge
Families hope for drug breakthrough

Grace O'Malley with her mother Lorraine.

Families hope for drug breakthrough

Grace O'Malley with her mother Lorraine.

FAMILIES of children with a degenerative neurological condition are hoping the New Year will bring a new drug treatment that can arrest their symptoms.

The O’Malley family from Hollymount and the Mearns family from Shrule have lobbied health minister Simon Harris in recent months to approve Spiranza, a medication that has been shown to arrest symptoms of Spinal Muscular Atrophy and in some cases reverse the effects of the condition.

Nine-year-old Grace O’Malley wrote a letter to Minister Harris, despite a deterioration in her arm muscles, to appeal to him to sanction the medication that could save her life. Grace has been in a wheelchair since she was a toddler and is slowly losing muscle function throughout her body.

Cillian Mearns, 6, also suffers from the condition which has confined both children to wheelchairs since they were toddlers.

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