Raffle raising awareness of rare condition

Matt and Angie Mackrell want to raise awareness of microtia and the charities that support children with the rare condition
Matt and Angie Mackrell want to raise awareness of microtia and the charities that support children with the rare condition

INTERNATIONAL artists are among those supporting a raffle to raise awareness of a rare condition affecting children.

Kerry Darlington, one of the UK’s leading contemporary artists, has donated a £350 Alice Sculpture and Anthony David Coppard has given an elephant painting worth about £600.

They will be two of nearly 50 prizes in the raffle being held on Sunday, March 6, at Elim Church, which meets at St Paul’s Centre, in Chapel Road, Worthing.

Eight-year-old Taylor Mackrell, a pupil at Thomas A’Becket Junior School in Tarring, has microtia, a congenital deformity which means little or no ear, on his left side.

His father and step-mother, Matthew and Angie Mackrell, of Boxgrove, Goring, have organised the raffle and a cake sale to raise money for two charities that have helped them.

Matthew said: “We would love to raise £1,000 - £500 for Great Ormond Street and £500 for Microtia UK. Without people like us trying to make a difference, people like that will struggle.”

Angie said it was also about raising awareness of Microtia UK, because it is such a small charity.

“You ask people about it and they haven’t heard of it so it is about trying to raise awareness,” she added.

The couple are members of Microtia Mingle UK, a support group for children, families and adults affected by microtia.

Taylor is due to have an ear reconstruction at Great Ormond Street Hospital. The first operation will be a rib graft, where cartilage will be taken to be shaped into an ear, mirror-imaged from his other ear.

Matthew said: “It is all up to him whether to go ahead. If he does, he will be in there for a week. Later on, there will be a tidying up operation, when he will be in for a day.

“He doesn’t have a hole but the bones are there inside, so he can hear but it is like being under water. The new ear will be cosmetic, they won’t put a hole in.”

Taylor’s school has been very supportive since he started there in September.

“He does get a lot of ear infections,” explained Matthew. “We have to protect his good ear.”

Microtia affects about one in 7,000 babies and there are four grades, ranging from an incomplete ear with small ear canal to the absence of the total ear.

The raffle will start at 12pm and tickets are £1 each. Other prizes include Butlins tickets for a family of five, Champagne, hampers, Ham Manor golf tickets and afternoon teas.

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