Son’s growth disorder inspires fundraising mum

'VERY PROUD' ... Lisa Douthwaite and son James.
'VERY PROUD' ... Lisa Douthwaite and son James.

A CARING South Tyneside mum whose teenage son has battled a growth disorder since birth has launched a charity fundraising drive.

Lisa Douthwaite, 48, has organised a fun day on Saturday in aid of the national Jeans for Genes charity, which supports children with genetic disorders.

Mrs Douthwaite has been on a mission for weeks to get ready for the big event at Hadrian Primary School – as well as setting up a charity night at The Mile bar in South Shields to further boost the coffers of the cause.

The charity night, featuring a performance from rising South Tyneside band The Fences, was held last Friday and proved a big hit, raising £220 for the charity.

On Saturday, face painting, tombola, bouncy castles, a soccer shootout and even a visit from favourite cartoon couple Minnie and Mickey Mouse has been lined up for the fun day, which runs from 11am until 3pm.

Mrs Douthwaite was determined to support Jeans for Genes as her son James, now 13, was born with Silver-Russell syndrome, a disorder which affects about one in every 100,000 babies.

The Boldon School student was told he would never grow taller than 4ft 4ins due to the condition.

But after taking growth hormone injections every day between the ages of five and 10, he has defied that prediction, to stand at 4ft 9ins.

The brave youngster also had a leg-lengthening operation at Newcastle Royal Victoria Infirmary recently to add to his height.

The fun day coincides with the charity’s own national Jeans for Genes Day.

Mrs Douthwaite, a mum-of-two who lives in Baring Street, South Shields, with husband Jim, 43, said: “My son was born with a genetic disorder. He was told he wouldn’t be any taller than 4ft 4ins, but he is now 4ft 9ins.

“He has had to take growth hormone injections and have an operation. Now he is 13, his natural growth will kick in and we are hoping he could reach about 5ft 2ins.

“We still have a long, long road ahead of us, but he is making good progress.

“We are very proud of him. He is very level-headed and never feels sorry for himself.”

“I would love to raise thousands for the charity, as it is one of the less well-known charities and needs more support.”

The fun day at Hadrian Primary School, in Baring Street, South Shields, is free to enter with proceeds from the tombola and raffle going to Jeans for Genes, while collection buckets will also be on hand.

Twitter: @shieldsgazchris