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10-year-old's battle brings others hope.

Byline: Craig Thompson Health Reporter

A SERIOUSLY ill schoolboy is putting his lifethreatening condition aside to help other sick children in the North East.

Callum McGilligan's life has been turned upside down after his brain was attacked by a condition that affects just one in 10 million young people across the world.

The North Tyneside schoolboy never knows when these devastating attacks might take place and he has spent much of the past few months in critical care at the Great North Children's Hospital in Newcastle.

The seriousness of his condition led Callum to draw up a wish list of things he wanted to achieve in 2015.

Now, he has made a new addition to that list - "Callum's Caravan".

The 10-year-old's family are on the verge of putting a deposit down on caravan at Haggerston Castle, Northumberland, which will provide respite for the families of other sick children in the area.

Callum's sister, Faye, 22, said: "We know better than most people how important a break can be for families who are constantly in and out of hospital.

"Talking to other mums and dads, they all say how much they would welcome somewhere to go." Faye and her family, from Longbenton, have almost raised the PS4,800 deposit needed for Callum's Caravan.

"This is Callum's seventh week out of hospital, which is remarkable as he has never gone five weeks without having to be admitted before," Faye said.

"But the condition he has is like Jekyll and Hyde; one minute he can be fine, and the next everything can change."

Doctors initially thought Callum had epilepsy. It was only after the family, including mum Helen, 50, and Alex, 51, took Callum on a break to Wooler, Northumberland, and he suffered a major attack that he was finally diagnosed with alternating hemiplegia of childhood, (AHC), a rare neurological disorder that can leave sufferers paralysed.

Earlier this month the young West Ham fan achieved one of his ambitions when he was invited by the team to watch them play Everton at Upton Park. "He absolutely loved that," said Faye. "He was treated like royalty."

Callum received signed football boots and other goodies from the club. He was then invited to St James' Park on Sunday to watch the Hammers play Newcastle.

Callum's family, including brothers Matthew, 30, Alexander, 18, and sister Claire, 27, hope his fight will help educate people about AHC.

The Lord Clyde bar in | Byker is hosting a fundraising night for Callum's Caravan tonight.

CALLUM'S WISH LIST IN FULL | To see Shrek the Musical: Achieved | To visit the Harry Potter studios: Achieved | To meet the stars of WWE: Achieved | To watch West Ham Utd: Achieved | To create a special play garden: Achieved | Callum's Caravan: To do


Callum got to meet West Ham star |Kevin Nolan in the dressing room

Callum McGilligan and his family with West Ham's goal-|keeper Adrian after Callum was invited to watch the side

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Publication:Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:May 29, 2015
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