Kiki shortly after birth
Since 1991, Sparks has committed over £20 million for research into serious conditions affecting the health of babies, children and mums-to-be.
In this time Sparks funded research has contributed to many breakthroughs including ultra sound scanning technology, and led to a complete review of pain management in premature babies. We believe that an illness or physical disability should not be an obstacle to a fulfilled childhood.
Mum, Andrea tells her story…
“When you are first told you are having twins it’s a shock – but then when you think you might lose them, it’s like your world comes crashing down.
At 20 weeks I was told that both my twin girls were unlikely to survive due to pregnancy complications. Both Kiki and Nico were born prematurely at 30 weeks, Kiki with clubfoot and chronic lung disease but we were just so happy to have them both with us.
When Kiki came home she had to have a new plaster cast on her foot every week for seven weeks to slowly move her foot into the right position. She now has a foot brace, and will have to sleep with it on for the next four years. Kiki’s feet are two different sizes and one calf will remain smaller where the muscles haven’t developed properly but she should crawl and walk normally. Her biggest problem will be the chronic lung disease. She really suffers if she gets a cold and we have to be extra careful with her in the winter weather.
Without medical research and knowledge gained in the past, our twins’ treatment could have been completely different. The research and trials carried out before our girls were born means that doctors had the right treatments ready to use, and now our babies can look forward to a near normal life at home with us. We are delighted to help raise funds for more vital research, without which we will never find the treatments that other families and children might need in the future.
I felt so blessed by the twins survival that I really wanted to give something back. I found out about Sparks and their research into chronic lung disease and clubfoot and I decided to take on the London Marathon in 2012. I didn’t even think about the implications of the training or the fundraising –I simply had to do it.”
Kiki's plaster casts, used to correct her foot
Kiki today helping mum to fundraise