We’re really lucky to live in London. One of the best cities in the world, for sure. One of the benefits is that it’s in this city you’ll find UCL, one of the main centres of research for gene therapy (a large chunk of the research done in the gene therapy community comes out of UCL). Conveniently it’s the centre Prof. Nick Greene is based at while he’s working on an NKH treatment. This means he’s in the best possible place in terms of the knowledge available to his team – they benefit from the knowledge the other teams are working on. Very exciting.
Even better for us, UCL is attached to our specialist hospital. So when we went in for Mikaere’s metabolic check, we met Nick for a coffee.
You guys – there is so much going on in the world of NKH research. In terms of understanding the development of NKH in unborn children, understanding the wider implications of NKH and the knock on effects into the one carbon folate system, making cell models, looking at treatments (like the components that make up cinnamon!) into bigger cures, like gene replacement therapy in mice. There is lots happening, a lot of moving parts. Very very exciting.
It’s inspiring, meeting Nick (who is the nicest guy, for sure) literally made me want to throw more money at research. Because that’s it, right? The more money the more research.
I talk a lot about fundraising. I ask over and over for donations, constantly putting my hand out (and I’m so grateful for the love and grace shown to me, you guys are the kindest and most generous friends we could have) – but what it really comes down to is I have the deepest hope that in Mikaere’s lifetime NKH will be a thing of the past. That there will be an effective treatment and future babies and families won’t have it like our kids do now. That our babies won’t die.
Now, that’s a lot of pressure to put on people like Nick, but to talk to him and have him discuss where they are right now and where they are going? It gives me hope.
When we met it was a beautiful day in London. Even better, Mikaere was on good form. He was sitting and talking and very awake and aware and interested in the world around him. I know the researchers don’t always get to see the day to day life of kids with the condition they’re researching (at least not in NKH. In NKH they’re still in mouse model stage) so it was a nice moment for Nick to meet Mikaere again. To see how well he’s doing, the development he’s making.
It was such a nice afternoon. I love that I live in a city where I can meet the guy trying to cure my sons terminal condition for a coffee. What a world, hey?