Young Ivy wins bravery award

Ivy Mitchell with parents Dorne and Lee, receives her bravery award on stage.
Ivy Mitchell with parents Dorne and Lee, receives her bravery award on stage.

A youngster affected by a genetic disorder has been honoured for her bravery at the Yorkshire Children of Courage Awards (in partnership with Lincolnshire).

Ivy Mitchell, aged three, of Helpringham was born with 22q11 deletion or DiGeorge syndrome.

Children with the condition can have heart defects, learning difficulties, a cleft palate and potentially many other problems. In almost all cases, these symptoms and features result from a missing piece of chromosome – a genetic fault, or mutation, called 22q11 deletion.

This genetic fault can potentially cause many different combinations of symptoms, of which DiGeorge syndrome is just one. The 22q11 deletion is estimated to affect at least one in every 4,000 births.

DiGeorge syndrome is generally considered one of the most serious types of 22q11 deletion, but symptoms can vary widely. Not every child is severely affected and many will grow up to have a normal life expectancy.

The awards, run by the St James Place Foundation, were held at New Dock Hall in Leeds on October 16 and Ivy won the award for outstanding bravery in the 0-12 year category.

The night featured celebrities like the Chuckle Brothers and many of the sponsors.

Mum Dorne said: “It was a privilege to be surrounded by other children that continue to smile in the face of adversity and we are proud beyond words to have our Ivy recognised for the challenges she has faced and overcome.”

Her husband Lee has been fund raising to raise awareness for Ivy’s condition.

Lee completed six ultra marathon events, including a Coast to Coast bike ride, but sadly they were burgled a few weeks ago and the bike and its accessories were stolen.

Dorne said: “That puts paid to any more charity bike rides, callous thieves have no idea of the impact they have when they break into someone else’s property.”

They are almost at their £5,000 fund raising target for the Max Appeal that supports children like Ivy affected with DiGeorge syndrome.

Dorne said: “We were asked by Max Appeal if we would attend an all parliamentary group at the Houses of Parliament and we spoke to health ministers and professionals in our campaign to raise awareness of the condition.”

She added: “Ivy faces more open heart surgery before Christmas and we can only pray her strength, grit and determination to survive sees her come through this. It gets harder as she gets older as she is more aware there are more challenges to face.

“Ivy remains in fantastic spirits despite it all and she is always the first one to smile.”