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Fun day planned for Snettisham teen with rare blood condition

The mother of a Snettisham 16-year-old diagnosed with a rare blood condition has organised a fun day for two charities close to the family’s heart.

Conor Blake was diagnosed with polycythemia vera two-years ago and is believed to be the only teenager in the country with this condition.

“This condition usually affects people in later life, usually around the age of 60. Conor was 14, so I guess he was just unlucky,” said Christine Blake, his mother.

Conor Blake was diagnosed with a blood disorder called Polycythemia Vera in August 2017
Conor Blake was diagnosed with a blood disorder called Polycythemia Vera in August 2017

The fun day will take place at Ingoldisthorpe Social Club from 1pm onwards on Sunday in aid of CLIC Sargent, a cancer charity for children, and MPN Voice, who are the leading researchers into Conor’s condition.

Conor chose CLIC Sargent after feeling “humbled” by the courage of children having chemotherapy at Addenbrooke’s Hospital.

Conor visits the paediatric oncology/haematology unit at Addenbrooke’s Hospital where he has met many young people under the care of CLIC Sargent. He also has weekly injections of interferon, which reduces abnormal blood cell growth.

Conor’s condition is a non-curable, progressive blood cancer caused by a gene mutation which has resulted in him having four small strokes recently as well as bleeding in his leg.

A charity football match will take place on Sunday, and there will also be archery, zorbing, live music from Ktones, Kwik Cricket, a raffle and auction, barbecue, tombola, cake stall and karaoke.

Various groups have offered their support for the event including Snettisham Cricket Club, where Conor plays, Ingoldisthorpe Bowls Club and the Snettisham Scouts.

Contact Christine Blake on 07772 438869 if you are interested in attending.

Conor will be studying media at the College of West Anglia in September having completed his GCSEs at Springwood High School.

“Thankfully Conor leads a normal life. There have been a few bumps on the road, like having a stroke in the the middle of a drama class, but he recovered,” Mrs Blake added.

“This fun day is turning into a real community event with so many people wanting to get involved, which takes some of the pressure off.”

A Just Giving fundraising page can be found at www.justgiving.com/fundraising/christine-blake4 with over £1,000 raised already.

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