A student is closer to her wish of getting a DNA test to find out what rare genetic defect she was born with – after a community group donated £1,000 to her appeal.
The Hemel Hempstead Lions Club has offered the money to Natalie, who is trying to raise nearly £4,000 for the advanced medical procedure in Germany.
The 22-year-old, from Adeyfield, discovered after an MRI scan last year that she has a rare and undiagnosed genetic condition.
The scans revealed that Natalie is missing a kidney, has a damaged spleen, has two wombs – and has lost most vision in her left eye.
She also suffers from Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome III, which means she can’t produce enough collagen to connect tissues, and suffers from fatigue, having to spend a lot of time resting in bed.
Natalie’s story was featured in the Gazette last month, and struck a chord with Lions member Barbara Daniels.
The Lions are a club that help and promote local charities and causes.
It’s aims are supported by running a popular book shop in the Marlowes shopping centre.
Barbara said: “I saw the article in the Gazette last month and we have money to give away in the community.
“People actually don’t tend to come to us to ask for it.
“But with the book shop being so successful we have a fair bit in our charity account that we can give to the community.
“I saw the story and thought that Natalie would be a worthy cause to support.
“I took the idea to the club and they all agreed.”
Natalie has already raised £1,365 of the £3,600 needed to travel to the international gene clinic in Germany, where she would undergo a Full Exome Sequencing Test that will examine her DNA and look for a cause of her condition.
The £1,000 donation from the Lions takes her even closer to that sum, and she said: “It’s just amazing. It’s a big chunk of the money and it’s going to make such a big difference.
“It’s lovely that it’s a local charity that helps local people as well. It means a lot.”
You can donate to Natalie’s campaign at www.gofundme.com/help-fund-natalies-genetic-testing