RCPCH to continue work of advocacy organisation
The National Reye’s Syndrome Foundation (NRSF) signs over their programme of research and awareness work to the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (RCPCH).
The founders of the organisation established to stamp out the devastating disease Reye’s Syndrome - a condition which quickly, and without warning, attacks the brain and liver – yesterday (Tuesday 11 September) handed its assets to the RCPCH to continue its important research and awareness work into Reye’s Syndrome and similar Reye-like illnesses.
The President of the RCPCH, Dr Hilary Cass, officially accepted the foundation’s assets, which are worth over £212,000, this morning at an event held at the College’s offices in London.
On acceptance of the assets, the RCPCH will now be responsible for:
Conducting research programmes on Reye’s Syndrome and Reye-like illnesses
Running and maintaining the Reye’s Syndrome website
Providing emotional support and guidance to families experiencing the personal trauma of these conditions
Raising awareness of Reye’s Syndrome and Reye-like illnesses
The foundation was established by Clifford and Audrey Harrington following the death of their daughter Katie who contracted Reye’s Syndrome – a condition that can affect children, teenagers and adults – in the 1980s. Their daughter contracted the condition after taking aspirin – a drug which has been widely linked to the disease.
As a result of their experience, Mr and Mrs Harrington, through the NRSF, were instrumental in changing packaging regulations to ensure all aspirin products have a clear warning that advices parents’ not to give the medication to children under 16 unless prescribed by a doctor. And as a result, there have been no reported cases of Reye’s Syndrome since April 2002.
Founder of The National Reye’s Syndrome Foundation, Audrey Harrington, said:
'There are a lot of mixed emotions for me today. A lot has been achieved but at a dreadful cost.
'Katie was 11 ½ years old when she contracted Reye’s Syndrome and nobody seemed to know anything about the condition until we were sent to Great Ormond Street Hospital. Katie was diagnosed an hour after being admitted.
'Today marks an end of a journey and it is gratifying that the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health, who represent so many medical professionals, are taking this journey forward.'
President of The Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health, Dr Hilary Cass, said:
'The National Reye’s Syndrome Foundation is a great example of the strength and influence parents and a range of third sector organisations can have on improving children’s health. Thanks to these efforts, this group has pretty much eradicated the disease. This is an incredible achievement.
'Through continued work with third sector organisations, and our strong position to challenge and be heard amongst policy makers, I can assure Clifford and Audrey Harrington, and the foundation’s trustees that the continuation of their exceptional work is in safe hands with the RCPCH.'
Gordon Denney has administered the Foundation since 1986 in an honorary capacity working in close conjunction with members of the Medical and Scientific Advisory Board. He lost his son Jonathan aged 12 ½ to Reye's syndrome in 1984.
Gordon Denney, Trustee and Honorary Administrator to The NRSF said:
'From my observations over the years, I am confident that these hard-earned funds will be used wisely by the College in pursuit of its research projects, while at the same time, fulfilling the charitable purposes set out in the Foundation’s Trust Deed.'
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