A Kirriemuir family’s spectacular fundraising efforts will benefit a charity for a rare genetic disorder for “years to come”.
Liam and Ashley Wilkie’s three-year-old daughter Caitlin was born with Bardet-Biedl syndrome, which means she is likely to lose her sight by the time she is a teenager.
The Kirrie couple dedicated this year to raising funds for BBS UK, the country’s only charity dedicated to the disorder.
After setting an initial £5,000 target, the couple have been overwhelmed by the generosity of people in Angus who have supported the cause.
The amount raised currently stands at almost £21,000 with another £2,000 to be added through Gift Aid.
The charity’s secretary described the family as an “inspiration” and has outlined how the funds raised will transform the small charity, which has an annual budget of around £50,000.
Abbie Geeson said: “We are a voluntary, user-led charity with only one part-time member of staff and we pride ourselves on the fact that all the money raised goes directly to running our projects and services.
“The amount raised by Liam and Ashley so far is truly amazing and will make such a difference not only this year, but for years to come.
“It will not only allow us to plan ahead with our existing projects but also new projects we wish to provide but so far haven’t been able to do so.”
Bardet–Biedl syndrome can have several effects. It meant Caitlin was born with six digits on each of her hands and feet and had to go through two five-hour operations to remove them.
The toddler is starting to lose her vision and struggles to see in low light.
BBS UK’s primary purpose is to provide support and information to those with the syndrome, their families and carers.
The funds raised by the Wilkie family and their supporters will directly support the charity’s annual conference which shares the latest research, activity breaks and trips for people with the condition and their families, attending conferences and seminars and the production of newsletters and booklets.
Abbie, who has a teenage daughter with BBS, added: “All money raised through fundraising endeavours positively impacts our provision of services and we have so many wishes for the future of our charity and for those with the syndrome.
“We are incredibly grateful for the fundraising efforts and support to date.
“The amazing endeavours of the Wilkie family and all those supporting them means so much to BBS UK not only because of the amounts being raised but also in the importance of raising awareness about our rare genetic condition which affects only around 540 people in the UK.
“They are an inspiration of what can be achieved.”
It is hoped a further £4,000 for BBS UK will be raised this summer by a 92-mile trek which traces the 1746 retreat of the Ogilvy regiment from the Battle of Culloden back to Glen Clova.