Illness unites Whitehill family

Jill Spence with her eight year old daughter Sophie, Whitehill, who has Rett Syndrome. Family and friends have recently raised over �2,500 for Rett Syndrome Research Trust UK by running the Edinburgh 10K.
Jill Spence with her eight year old daughter Sophie, Whitehill, who has Rett Syndrome. Family and friends have recently raised over �2,500 for Rett Syndrome Research Trust UK by running the Edinburgh 10K.

A mother has told how discovering her daughter’s rare genetic condition left her family “crushed”.

But, after the initial shock, she now feels it has made them stronger as they fight the condition together.

Whitehill housewife Jill Spence (37) and a team of friends recently ran the Great Edinburgh Run to raise awareness of and money to fight the condition – Rett Syndrome – which causes physical and mental disabilities.

Her eight-year-old daughter Sophie was diagnosed with the condition in 2008.

The Tynewater and Saltersgate Primary School pupil struggles to communicate and has breathing and mobility problems.Jill admits it has been a struggle for her, housebuilder husband Alan (41), son Harry (12), and daughters Alexandra (3) and Scarlet (1).

She said: “No parent should go through it, when we found out what it could mean, words can’t describe how we felt.

“I felt like I had lost my daughter, but I feel now that we are building things and are a lot stronger as a family.”

Read more on this story in the August 1 edition of the Midlothian Advertiser.