Ipswich mum Jessie Leggett raising money for charity after both children diagnosed with serious condition

PUBLISHED: 18:27 26 August 2017 | UPDATED: 11:23 27 August 2017

Esmae and Dexter, who both have GSD type 4. Picture: FAMILY CONTRIBUTED

Esmae and Dexter, who both have GSD type 4. Picture: FAMILY CONTRIBUTED


An Ipswich mum whose two children have been diagnosed with the same rare and life-threatening condition is running a half marathon for a charity which supported her through the ordeal.

Mum Jessie with children Esmae and Dexter. Picture: FAMILY CONTRIBUTEDMum Jessie with children Esmae and Dexter. Picture: FAMILY CONTRIBUTED

Jessie Leggett, 32, is taking on the Great North Run to raise cash for The Sick Children’s Trust, which provided her and her husband Ryan with free accommodation close to Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge while their youngsters were receiving critical treatment.

In 2016, the couple’s children, Esmae, three, and ten-month-old Dexter were separately rushed to Addenbrooke’s with serious respiratory problems.

On both occasions, Jessie and Ryan were able to stay in Acorn House, which is run by The Sick Children’s Trust and located just a few minutes’ walk from the hospital.

Doctors later determined the children’s ill health was related to an inherited disorder called glycogen storage disease type 4 (GSD type 4), which is caused by the buildup of complex sugar in the body’s cells an can lead to liver and heart failure.

Jessie said: “The littlest things in life, like washing your clothes and sitting down for a homemade meal, made all the difference. It made me and Ryan stronger for our children.

“The Sick Children’s Trust was there for us – through all the emotional turmoil - and it continues to be there for us.

“Acorn House allowed us to be a family when we needed to be, to give our daughter Esmae a bit of normality, like by making cakes and playing with her when her little brother was seriously ill. And most importantly it gave us a place to rest on both occasions, giving us the peace of mind that our children were just minutes away.

“I dread to think how I would have coped without it.”

Jessie will compete in the Great North Run next month with her mum, Jane Eustace.

The pair are hoping to raise £1,500 for The Sick Children’s Trust, which relies on donations to run its 10 free ‘homes from home’ for families of seriously ill children in hospital.

Campaign and appeals manager, Caroline O’Doherty, expressed her gratitude to the runners for choosing to raise money for the charity, adding that it costs £30 per night to accommodate a family in one of their homes.

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