'FAB which now helps around
58 families throughout the UK, was set up in 1989.'
Christine and Suzie Westmoreland thank Tom
Taylor, Duty Manager of Hagues Bar for holding
fundraising events for FAB UK. Included are
Brian and Adam Kerr. US29-714SP
A WOMAN who has suffered the pain of losing
not just one but two children to a rare blood disease visited
Lisburn recently to thank local people who have helped raise
money for the support organisation she and her husband founded
to help others in the same position.
Christine Westmoreland from Nottingham who
set up FAB UK along with her husband David was the guest of Gaye
Kerr whose little boy Brian suffers from the condition Fanconi's
She and her daughter Suzie came to Northern
Ireland after Gaye phoned her to discuss the results of recent
tests carried out on Brian's blood.
||Christine and Suzie Westmoreland
thank Ken Kirkpatrick of KC Carpets for his
continuing fundraising support for FAB UK.
||Brian and Adam Kerr with
Christine and Suzie Westmoreland, their grandparents
Arthur and Helen Warwick and Kathryn Warwick their
The visit had an added poignancy as Gaye's
little girl Helen, Brian's twin, passed away last year within
days of Christine's daughter Linzi who succumbed to Fanconi's
Anaemia while in her early 20s's.
Ironically, Lindsey and Helen had met as part
of FAB UK's support for the Kerrs in the aftermath of Brian's
The meeting took place at a hotel in Bristol
in 2004 during one of Brian's trips to a hospital in the city
and Christine could clearly remember Helen as a "lovely lively
"We did have photographs taken at the time
but it's very hard to look at them now both Linzi and Helen have
gone," she said. Christine told the Star she first came upon
Fanconi's Anaemia when her little boy Craig Ashley was diagnosed
as suffering from it in the early 1980's.
Tragically, Ashley passed away in 1985, two
years after Linzi was born.
FAB UK, which now helps around 58 families
throughout the UK, was set up in 1989 after Christine and David
discovered Linzi also had the disease.
Christine said her daughter 'coped
wonderfully' with the condition.
"She underwent a lot of treatment then in
1993 she went on to alternative therapies which did give her a
quality of life," added Christine.
"If there is an alternative I would advise
people to go for it. I feel it is much better than toxins going
into the body."
Linzi's illness made it difficult for her to
However, she was taught by a home tutor and
eventually set up her own business crafting cards.
"She did find some local outlets for her
cards and she was never happier. She was very creative," added
As yet there is no cure for Fanconi's Anaemia
and the progress of the disease is hard to predict.
It eventually leads to the depletion of blood
cells and Christine described it as an 'individual condition'
which manifested itself in 'different degrees'.
However, she also referred to sufferers aged
between 20 and 30 as 'long lifers' which in itself shows how
serious the condition is.