Big-hearted pupils help kidney charity

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Schoolchildren rallied round a classmate to raise money for a kidney charity that has helped him to live with a life-changing condition.

Little Vince Hitchmough joined his schoolmates for a fun day at Holy Family Primary School, Blackpool, to raise money for charity Kidneys For Life.

Holy Family Primary School, Seacrest Avenue, Blackpool Kidney Fundraiser fun day to raise money for the Charity Kidneys for Life at Manchester Children's Hospital's renal Unit as one of it's pupils, Vince Hitchmough aged 6 has treatment at the centre.  'Pictured is Vince Hitchmough aged 6 with his class teacher Miss Ashleigh Monaghan and his class mates.'1st July 2015

Holy Family Primary School, Seacrest Avenue, Blackpool Kidney Fundraiser fun day to raise money for the Charity Kidneys for Life at Manchester Children's Hospital's renal Unit as one of it's pupils, Vince Hitchmough aged 6 has treatment at the centre. 'Pictured is Vince Hitchmough aged 6 with his class teacher Miss Ashleigh Monaghan and his class mates.'1st July 2015

The six-year-old suffers from a rare condition, bladder exstrophy, that has seen him undergo 16 operations in his short life.

Now his mother and schoolmates are working to raise vital funds for the charity which supports both pioneering research and renal medical work.

Mum Joanne Grady, 32, hopes such research will one day change her son’s life.

She said: “I want to give something back to the hospital so they can develop new techniques and procedures to help people.

“We don’t know how Vince’s condition is going to affect him later in life, he doesn’t have problems with his kidneys now but he could do one day.

“So any research done now or new techniques found will benefit children today as well as for years 
to come.”

Vince was born at Blackpool Victoria Hospital with the rare condition which meant his bladder had grown on the outside of his body.

In his first two years he underwent 11 operations, under the care of Manchester Children’s Hospital, where he remains an outpatient.

His mother, who works at Sainsbury’s, said: “To look at him you wouldn’t know there’s an issue, he just gets on with his life. I’m really proud of him.”

A fun day at the school off Seacrest Avenue, North Shore, on Wednesday saw children, parents and teachers take part in games and the school’s cheerleading team performed, all to raise money.

Headteacher Helen Moreton said: “We really wanted to get behind the family and the hospital.

“Vince is a lovely little boy. His condition does affect his everyday life but he gets on with things.”