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Brave Swanton Morley youngster features in charity calendar

PUBLISHED: 13:16 14 November 2014 | UPDATED: 13:16 14 November 2014

Justine Sprawling and her children Brooke (6) and Caleb (14) are in the 2015 A-T Society charity calendar. Picture: Ian Burt

Justine Sprawling and her children Brooke (6) and Caleb (14) are in the 2015 A-T Society charity calendar. Picture: Ian Burt

At just six years old, Brooke Sprawling may already be a third of the way through her life.

But the popular and determined youngster lives every day with a smile on her face and, along with her family, selflessly raises funds to help others facing similar challenges.

Brooke, who lives in Swanton Morley, near Dereham, was diagnosed with a rare condition called Ataxia Telangiectasia (A-T) in 2010.

A-T causes severe disability and leads to premature death.

There is currently no cure.

Since that diagnosis, Brooke and her mother Justine, 41, father Stefan, 39, and brother Caleb, 14, have helped to raise thousands of pounds for the A-T Society - the only charity providing children and their families with practical and emotional support as well as leading medical research to find a cure for the condition.

Most recently, she has appeared in the A-T Society’s first charity calendar.

Brooke is thought to be one of only around 200 confirmed sufferers of A-T in the country.

Mrs Sprawling said: “Brooke just absolutely loves life - she is a very popular little girl.

“She knows she is different to other people, she gets tired a lot and has to take lots of medication but she is so determined and independent - she is an inspiration to everyone.”

Despite her condition, Brooke has not had many days off sick from Swanton Morley Primary School.

She also attends the Rainbows group at the school on Monday 
evenings where she enjoys craft activities and socialising with friends.

The Sprawlings have held fund-raising activities to raise money for the A-T Society, including an annual charity toddle in Swanton Morley.

Mrs Sprawling said: “The A-T Society is a small but brilliant charity run by fantastic people and we need to all we can to help them and raise awareness of them.

“They are always there at the end of the phone to get me information and advice and they organise fun days and holidays for families.

“They are trying to find a cure for A-T.

“There is so much to do and I don’t think that will help Brooke to live longer. We can’t live with that hope in our minds, but if it can help other families in the future then that is absolutely fantastic.”

Brooke posed for photographs for the A-T Society calendar when the charity held a family weekend at Harpenden, Hertfordshire along with South African Paralympic cyclist Roxanne Burns, who has a mild form of A-T, soldiers from 20 Transport Squadron Royal Logistics Corps and other children and families who live with A-T.

The calendar is available at £9.99, plus postage and packaging www.atsociety.org.uk/news/71/calendar-2015

Are you raising money for a good cause? Email newsdesk@archant.co.uk

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