herald

Tuesday 6 December 2016

The parents of a 12-year-old girl who is unable to get the life-saving drugs she needs because her condition is so rare have said they are astonished by the support they have received from the public and stars like Simon Cowell.

The parents of a 12-year-old girl who is unable to get the life-saving drugs she needs because her condition is so rare have said they are astonished by the support they have received from the public and stars like Simon Cowell.

Abi Longfellow's family are campaigning for the British government to put the treatment she needs on the NHS after being told the dense deposit disease she has is too rare to justify the cost of the drug.

Music mogul Cowell tweeted a link to the family's petition and wrote: "Let's help save this wonderful girl. Abi deserves all the help we can give her. Save Abi."

astonishing

Her mother, Jo Longfellow, said: "We've been astonished how many old school friends and colleagues have got in touch but when you start hearing that people with such a big profile as Simon Cowell and Brian May have tweeted, it's absolutely astonishing."

Mrs Longfellow said: "I think what excited us when we heard that Simon Cowell had tweeted was that he has so much publicity and so many people following him that it would just raise the profile of Abi's cause."

The family, from Wakefield, West Yorkshire, said that at an "eye-watering £136,000 (€185,000) a year", the drug Eculizumab - which they have called on the manufacturer Alexion to bring down in price - is too expensive to fund themselves.

An internet petition now has more than 185,000 signatures and Abi herself has written to UK prime minister David Cameron to ask for his help.

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