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Can you raise £10,000 to help this brave Weymouth toddler?
A ‘CUTE little girl with a big personality’ needs help to raise £10,000 for a special vest to help with her Cystic Fibrosis.
Scarlett Russ is just nine months old and three months ago was diagnosed with the condition.
According to the Cystic Fibrosis (CF) Trust, the condition is one of the UK’s most common life-threatening inherited diseases.
It is caused by a faulty gene that controls the movement of salt and water in and out of the cells within the body.
It affects the internal organs and especially the lungs and digestive system by clogging them with thick sticky mucus – making it hard to breathe and digest food.
Scarlett’s parents were tested for CF during the pregnancy and her father Colin, 27, was found to be a carrier but her mum Lisa, 22, was OK, and to start with Scarlett passed all the tests.
Mrs Russ said that at six months she begged for a test as she had a feeling something was wrong.
She said: “I think it was mother’s intuition. I asked or begged for the test.
“She’s quite small compared to babies her age.”
Scarlett failed the test twice then doctors found the Mrs Russ was also a carrier.
The family are now determined to raise money for a special vest for Scarlett that will help her breathe.
The vest, which costs between £9,000 and £10,000, is attached to a machine and helps to get rid of the mucus on her lungs.
Mrs Russ said: “It’s a lot of money but it’s priceless to us to keep Scarlett with us.”
She added: “With CF you can slow it down with the best care.
“It’s not going to cure her – but it will slow it down and hopefully we can keep Scarlett for as long as we can and that’s all we want to do.”
Her family describe Scarlett as having a ‘personality since she was born’ which ‘makes her even cuter’.
The little girl with big attitude was born on her mum’s birthday last year in May.
Mrs Russ joked: “If I could sum her up in a word – she’s a madam.
“She’s so strong willed.
“Nothing fazes her. Everything she has been with in her life with needles and being prodded – she’s smiling.
“She’s a very happy baby.”
How you can help
THE family are collecting clothes and materials to be changed into rags for cash to put towards Scarlett’s vest and a Facebook group has been set up called Scarlett’s Starlett’s.
Mrs Russ said that so far they had received lots of offers of help from people wanting to fundraise.
She said: “Anything people can do to help us would be great.”
To help Scarlett you can visit her Facebook page – or telephone the Russ family on 07929 033830.
If you can spare any donation the Russ family would be extremely grateful. You can bring donations into the Echo offices - either Dorset Echo, Fleet house, Hampshire Road, Weymouth, Dorset, DT4 9XD or Dorset Echo's Dorchester Office, Antelope Walk, Dorchester, DT11BE.
Cheques can be made out to the parents - Colin and Lisa Russ and donations and payments can be made vis Paypal using the email address firstname.lastname@example.org