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Rare disease support from Yarmouth shop

PUBLISHED: 11:25 22 January 2010 | UPDATED: 16:24 30 June 2010

SUFFERERS of a rare, incurable disease are being helped with cash raised by a Great Yarmouth charity shop.

The St Nicholas Road shop is the only one in Britain dedicated to helping the ITP Support Association.

SUFFERERS of a rare, incurable disease are being helped with cash raised by a Great Yarmouth charity shop.

The St Nicholas Road shop is the only one in Britain dedicated to helping the ITP Support Association.

Owner Celina Baxter decided to support the charity because a close friend suffers from ITP (Immune Thrombocytopenic Purpura) which destroys platelets in the blood.

The shop has been visited several times by the support association's founder Shirley Watson who received a MBE in the New Year's Honours list.

Celina opened the charity store just over a year ago, which was previously a fashion boutique run by her mum Gloria.

The shop has raised several thousand pounds for the association and Yarmouth's Fisherman's Hospital where Gloria is a trustee.

Celina said: “We have a good friend who has the illness and visits us on occasions when she is well enough. Most people have never heard of ITP and many members of the medical profession are unfamiliar with it.

“When customers come in they often ask what ITP is, so we are helping to raise awareness of the disease as well as money for the support association.”

A normal platelet count is between 150- 400, but people with ITP can have a count of under five creating the risk of life threatening bleeding.

There is no cure for ITP an autoimmune disorder, which can develop at any age with sufferers living with the fear of a spontaneous fatal haemorrhage.

Founder and chief administrator Shirley Watson set up the charity in 1995 after her son Nev was diagnosed with ITP.

Over the last 15 years she has built the association up to an international organisation boasting a medical advisory team of the world's leading ITP specialists, holding patient conventions, medical seminars, and funding research.

The association's senior medical advisor Professor Adrian Newland also received a CBE in the New Year's Honours List.

For more information visit www.itpsupport.org.uk

The charity shop sells a selection men's and women's clothes and bric-a-brac and is open Monday to Saturday 10am to 4pm.


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