And the winner of My Metabolic Hero 2017 is…

Reece Blelloch!

We were absolutely blown away by the amazing response to our very first Metabolic Hero campaign!  What started off as a seed of an idea; to provide a platform for you to tell us all about the special people who make a difference, and celebrate these unsung heroes within our metabolic community, turned into a fantastic campaign, with almost 100 nominations!

Following the launch of the campaign during Metabolic Disorders Awareness Week in July, the stories flooded in!  We heard of the most inspirational people, from patients of all ages bravely living with rare conditions and overcoming challenges every day, to dietitians and medical professionals who dedicate their lives to providing the best possible care and solutions for patients.

The nominations were published on our website in September, each with an individual voting form and you all shared your Metabolic Heroes on social media and amongst friends and family – raising loads of awareness and resulting in over 8,000 votes!

We were delighted to be able to contact Reece’s mum Gemma, who nominated him as her Metabolic Hero, and she was over the moon!  We were absolutely honoured to meet this very special young man and his lovely mum and grandma at our Annual Conference on 14th October where we made the the official announcement and presented Reece with his prize of a family holiday to Center Parcs!

Here is Reece’s story as told by his mum Gemma:

“My son Reece is my Metabolic Hero.  After slipping into a coma at two days old, he was diagnosed with the rare Inherited Metabolic Disorder Propionic Acidaemia. I was told the chances of him making his first birthday were slim, and if he did make it through the first year he would likely suffer from significant learning disabilities and any form of infection would be life threatening to him.  

He is now 6 years old and his love of life, determination and bravery are truly inspiring. He has battled through three metabolic strokes, pneumonia and countless hospital admissions.  The hospital was our second home for the first four years of his life, but this past two years he has thrived and is completely smashing life!!

He is profoundly deaf and wears bilateral hearing aids, this has caused him to be non verbal but he uses makaton sign language and is fantastic at it, recently winning an award at school for it!  He touches the heart of everyone who meets him because he has the most loving caring nature and always has a smile on his face.  

As his mum, the pride I feel for him is beyond words.  He faces his daily battles with such courage, nothing ever gets him down and he certainly doesn’t let his condition define him.  I believe he deserves to win this award as he is just simply the best!”

We hope you will all join us in congratulating Reece, and we hope you will get involved next year by nominating your own Metabolic Heroes!