Max Appeal BearMax Appeal

Supporting families affected by DiGeorge Syndrome, VCFS and 22q11.2 deletion

Max Appeal Trustees & Staff

Sarah Goodyear


I would just like to briefly introduce myself, then tell you a bit about what is happening here, north of the border.

I have been a trustee for Max Appeal for a couple of years or so now. I live in north aberdeenshire with Simon, my husband, my 3 children, Matthew, 19, Daisy, 14 & Millie, 12, and a variety of animals. Daisy has 22q. She was diagnosed when she was 2 after quite a battle to have her tested. Max Appeal was an invaluable source of support and information at that time. I didn't want other families to experience the battle we did to get Daisy's diagnosis and then any treatments, so I feel very passionate about raising awareness/educating about 22q so was pleased to be able to take up a trustee's role to fulfil this.

Unfortunately, I was diagnosed with breast cancer 18 months ago and so have been having treatment for that, so have been a fairly quiet trustee during this time. I am happy to say though that all treatment is finished now and I am back!!!!! Thank you for all the support that I received during the last year, it really spurred me on.

So, what have I been up to the last couple of months for Max Appeal? Well it's been fairly busy. I enjoyed attending the 22q family day at Glasgow children's hospital, organised by the office for rare diseases. It was good to see so many of you there. Glasgow seems to have a good and ever improving service for 22q, certainly in the awareness raising front.

I am delighted that my local MP, David Duguid, agreed to be a member of the APPG for 22q.11 deletion syndrome and go even further and chair the group. I must say at this stage that I was not the one who first contacted him, but it was Louise Henderson, who then met him & really inspired him to take on this role. You have done a fantastic job, Louise. I am in the process of meetings and discussions with Mr Duguid as to how we can raise awareness, improve services for 22q, both locally and nationally.

Before I was ill, I had started to work through the Max Appeal database of scottish members, to try and see what you were really wanting out of Max Appeal and where you are all located. Many of you had stated that they would like for their affected children to meet others with 22q. I resumed this job after treatment finished and have now organised a few meet ups. Obviously, we cover a large area in scotland, so there may well not be a meet up on your doorstep, but maybe after the initial bigger meetups, you will have met someone closer to you & can organise get togethers amongst yourselves. There are several families with young adults that have 22q so we have organised an afternoon for them to meet up. I appreciate how difficult it is to even get our youngsters out of the house sometimes, never mind expect them to sit and chat to people that they don't know, but thought that if they were involved with sitting around a table, doing an activity, then maybe they would begin to relax, so we have a chocolate workshop for them. I hope that this will be the first of many gatherings for this age group.

The details of all the meet ups are in this ezine, on the facebook page and website. Claire Hennessey managed to secure a grant for these meet ups which is great.

I have many other ideas how we can progress services here in this space. I am always pleased to hear your ideas & views, how we can help you etc, so please don't hesitate to contact me if I can support you at all, . Thanks.

(Oct 2017)


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