Music event to raise funds for Bromsgrove teen with rare condition

By Carl Jackson Thursday 24 January 2013 Updated: 31/01 10:09

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Buy photos » Lauren Rowles is determined not to let her debilitating condition effect her enjoyment of life. (s)

A SPECIAL fund-raiser has been arranged to mark 12 months since a Bromsgrove girl was diagnosed with a rare condition which has confined her to a wheelchair.

The ‘Songs for Lauren’ musical event is the latest in the drive to raise £14,000 for 14-year-old Lauren Rowles from Cofton Hackett.

The money will be used for a special functional electrical stimulation (FES) bike which will help combat her condition.

The night will be hosted at the Lickey End Social Club next Saturday (February 2) - 12 months to the day since the North Bromsgrove High School girl woke up and could not feel her legs.

She was rushed by ambulance to the Birmingham Children’s Hospital where an MRI scan revealed she had Transverse Myelitis (TM).

The condition caused antibodies to attack Lauren’s spinal chord, causing a severe loss of sensation. It effects just two people in every million.

Lauren recovered from a critical state after six months of treatment in three different hospitals. However despite getting over the TM it had caused long term debilitating effects on her body.

Now she suffers from a loss of movement and feeling from the chest down in her hands and legs, and she is unable to walk.

The FES bike, which costs £14,090, is designed to prevent muscle wastage, increase blood circulation, relax muscle spasms, encourage muscle memory and provide a cardiovascular workout.

Natalie Rowles, Lauren’s mum said her daughter had fought back from the brink after being made seriously ill by the condition because it effected her breathing.

“Rather than dwell on the last 12 months in a negative way, Lauren wanted to mark the date in a positive way.

“She is inspirational the way she has dealt with her condition and wants to live life doing as much as she possibly can.”

The community has really come together to donate money for the cause through fund-raisers and sponsored events.

Last month, a quintet of Bromsgrove teens performed Christmas carols in their onesies outside of ASDA on Market Street.

Between them, Molly Payne, Abbi Peters, Caitlyn Bailey, Jennie Deaken-Hough and Abby Sola raised £250 for Lauren.

“For them to stand out there in their onesies for the best part of the day and do that is pretty good going.” said Molly’s dad Russel.

‘Songs for Lauren’ will start at 7.30pm with tickets £10 for adults and £5 for children.

There will also be food.

To book a ticket, call Natalie on 07581 067971 or e-mail her at natrowles78@aol.com.

Donations for ‘Funds for Lauren’ can also be given by contacting North Bromsgrove High School on 01527 872375.

Visit www.myelitis.org for more on Transverse Myelitis.

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