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An Evelina Easter party with a difference

Posted on Friday 8th April 2016
Mum and bady in Easter bunny costume

Mum and baby Airan dressed as the Easter bunny

Children with a rare metabolic condition were treated to an Evelina Easter celebration with a difference this week.

The inherited metabolic diseases team at Evelina London threw an Easter party for their patients who can’t normally eat chocolate because they have to stick to low protein diets.

Children were entertained with a live show and face painting whilst their parents and carers were able to test the latest foods that are low in protein or provide specialist alternatives to protein.

The specialist team throws the Easter party each year to show families that their children can have fun at parties and avoid protein too. Specialist foods include a cake mix, burger mix and even protein free chocolate.

Tanya Gill, clinical nurse specialist in the inherited metabolic diseases team, says: “Easter and other celebrations can be a tricky time for children on a low protein diet and their families. Protein is found in many foods including meat, fish, egg, cheese, bread and many other things, including chocolate! Can you imagine Easter without chocolate?”

Rare metabolic conditions require treatment with a strict a diet to prevent the build up of toxins in the bloodstream that can cause damage to the brain and other organs. The build up is mainly caused by not being able to breakdown protein found in food and drink. The metabolic team monitor children’s protein blood levels with weekly tests that families take themselves and send to the hospital.

Tanya explains why the team also want to help families to meet:  “Families may never have met anyone else with the same or similar condition as their child as these conditions are so rare. For example, Phenylketonuria (PKU) is found in just one in ten thousand people in the UK population and that is the most common condition we treat. We believe it’s important for our families to feel normal and to take time to have fun and join in celebrations like everyone else.”

Special thanks to Starlight Children’s Foundation for supporting the party by providing entertainment and donating party bags.

©  Guy's and St Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust.
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