Community pulls together to support family of South Shields boy James Young as he battles on with Batten Disease

A community is coming together to support the family of a five-year-old suffering a rare condition to help make family memories that will last a lifetime.

Monday, 11th October 2021, 10:46 am

James Batton, of Whiteleas, was diagnosed with Batten Disease, a rare condition affecting the nervous system, in January 2020, and his family were told there is no cure.

To help prolong the symptoms of the condition, James’ parents Diana and Dean Young have been travelling to Great Ormond Street Hospital, in London, every two weeks so James can get vital treatment.

Now, James’ neighbours and the South Tyneside community are coming together to help James and his family make some lifelong memories by holding a charity night in honour of James, to raise money for a trip to Disneyland Paris and help with travel costs.

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James Young, 5.

The charity night, which is being organised by a number of James’ neighbours, will feature a DJ, live acts and a tombola, to support the family.

Organiser Zana Louise Martin, said: “We’d love to get as much as possible and help James and his family make some lifelong memories.

“We see James’ family travelling to London every two weeks and know how hard it is for them, so we wanted to help out in any way we could.”

Batten disease is a rare nervous system condition which affects speech, walking and memory and the family were told James is unlikely to make it to his 13th birthday.

James with sister Gracie

Diana and Dean first realised something was wrong when James was two and began having problems with his speech, before developing behavioural issues and struggling with balance and coordination.

James was on the waiting list to be tested for autism when he had his first seizure and eventually in November 2019, after months of fighting, James was admitted to the RVI in Newcastle and two months later received the devastating diagnosis.

The charity night will be held on Saturday November 27 at Whiteleas Social Club, with tickets costing £5 and all funds raised supporting James and his family make some incredible memories.

Donations can also be made to James’ Go Fund Me page via this link.

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