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Reading Katie’s story below reminded me of the plight of Jo Harris, a 14 year old Down Syndrome child: a 14 year old girl who was refused a Heart and Lung transplant simply because she had Down Syndrome. 'A Heart for Jo' trust was started in the hope of sending her to America to undergo the surgery required; and to bring to the forefront recognition for people who have Down Syndrome.  The first winner of the Big Brother television reality show, Craig Phillips, had so kindly donated his £70.000 winnings from that show to the Heart For Jo Trust.
I was approached by John Kennedy after attending church with  Katie’s mother Rena and her aunt Jackie. We were asked if we could put on a fund raiser at The MerseyRats Rock 'n Roll Children's Charity at the Lathom Hall in Seaforth.

We responded by putting on a show featuring Liverpool rock and roll legend KingSize Taylor and Friends, accompanied by bands The Extras and Genevieve. The show was a great success, and combined with a very generous raffle, raised the princely sum of £1000.

Jo Harris's mother Marion and her sister Vivian attended on the night along with Craig Phillips, who on behalf of Jo's mother and Vivian presented a cheque for the sum of £16.750.51 the last of the funds from the Heart For Jo Trust, making a grand total of £17750.51 on the night.

Many thanks to KingSize Taylor and friends; The Extras; and Genevieve, all of whom donated their services free on the night, and provided an excellent evening of entertainment. We would also like to say thanks to the hard working Maja Dodd for producing a lovely, tasty buffet. Thanks also to the ladies who sold raffle tickets.

Unfortunately Katie could not attend on the night as she was undergoing treatment. We were, however, able to display a life size image of this amazing young teenager in front of the stage.



Katie’s Story

Katie Wright was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia in September 2013. Katie spent two and a half years fighting countless infections she had caught as a result of her intense chemotherapy treatment. She earned 3800 beads of courage over the course of this treatment. Katie spent months in hospital unable to eat or drink and was too ill to attend school for 12 months due to the intense nature of her treatment.

She re-joined her friends in school in September 2014 and remained in school for the rest of her course of chemotherapy. Katie’s strength and resilience were recognised when she won the Pride of Merseyside Courage Award 2015 which was presented by Craig Phillips.

We were told that Katie was in remission and we held a big party for her 13th birthday to celebrate.

In November last year Rena and Billy were given the devastating news that Katie had relapsed. Due to the toll on her body the hospital could not follow their usual protocol, which is to use more intense chemotherapy. Rena and Billy were then told about a pioneering treatment called Immunotherapy which is available in the United States at a cost of £120,000., so we all set about fund raising. We had raised approximately £75,000 when we learned that this price had risen to approximately £370,000 as the trials entered ‘phase 2’.

Katie is not following the usual protocol in terms of treatment but she has amazed us all as she is responding really well to this treatment. The hospital have advised Rena and Billy to continue to try to raise funds as they do not know what the outcome of this treatment will be as it is somewhat uncharted territory.

Dave (Jamo) Jamieson.
MerseyRats

Images from the Merseyrat’s show at the Lathom


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Craig Phillips presents the cheque to Katie’s family

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The Extras starting the night off.

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Kingsize Taylor and Friends

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Kingsize and Mark duetting

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Craig, Jamo and Kingsize

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Genevieve with a great set to close the night

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Katie’s family and Craig with the cheque.



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EARLY IN JANUARY AT VINCE EARL’S ROCK N ROLL WEEKEND AT LLANDUDNO, TWO CHEQUES WERE PRESENTED TO VINCE EARL ON BEHALF OF MERSEYRATS.

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ONE BY CLAIRE ATKINSON AND HER SISTER GERI FOR THE SUM OF £250 TO CLAIRE HOUSE.

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ANOTHER CHEQUE WAS ALSO PRESENTED ON BEHALF OF MERSEYRATS BY ELLEN DAVIES AND LYNNE JONES FOR THE SUM OF £250 TO KIDNEY FIRST. 


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Tuesday the 17th January, the official presentation of the large climbing frame erected by the Merseyrats. At Christ Church Primary School Bootle.

The presentation was made by  John Kennedy on behalf of the Merseyrats.

Members of our regular Thursday Night Rock N Roll Jive Night  where also in attendance.

The school children are overjoyed by this new addition to their play area.

We were then all invited into the school hall and were treated to a show by the children with some readings, maths, and song and dance.

It was such a nice tribute from the school and the children. Saying ‘Thank You’, To The Merseyrats.