Parents’ mission to find a cure for daughter’s killer disease

Bella with dad Peter
Bella with dad Peter

The parents of a three-year-old girl who suffers from a killer disease have set up a charity in the hope of saving her, and other children like her.

Generous members of the community donated £25,000 last year to the Saving Bella Morris campaign.

Bella Morris

Bella Morris

Now Bella’s parents, Peter Morris, 36, and Natalie Stevenson, 32, want to take that figure to £2.5m.

They want to fund pioneering research into discovering a cure for Vanishing White Matter - a terminal disease which gradually destroys the white matter in the brain which is causing Bella to slowly lose the ability to walk, talk, eat, see and hear.

Their hope is that by pouring money into research via their newly founded Rainbow Dream Charity a cure might be found in half the time than it would have been otherwise.

Peter, a community matron at Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said: “Obviously we are forever hopeful.

If it can’t help Bella it would be great to have it as a legacy for others who have the same condition

“We want to stop it in its tracks or reverse it. If it can’t help Bella it would be great to have it as a legacy for others who have the same condition.”

Vanishing White Matter is a disease that can run in the family and in Bella’s case, both of her parents carried the recessive gene. The cruel condition, for which there is no cure, affects one in 40 million. In November 2015 the toddler came down with what seemed like a cold, which worsened even after visits to the doctors.

Bella then became unsteady on her feet.

She was then taken to have more tests, and six months later she was diagnosed after an MRI scan showed ‘significant changes’ to her white matter - the area of the brain which controls nerves.

There are only two professors looking into the disease that Peter is aware of, based in Israel and Amsterdam, and he wants to fund their work.

Mr and Mrs Morris are also organising a charity ball for Halloween on Saturday, October 21, at the Hilton hotel on the Promenade.

To find out more about The Rainbow Dream Charity, go to therainbowdreamcharity.com