ITV’s Coronation Street has revealed Oliver Battersby’s heartbreaking diagnosis of mitochondrial disease.
Doctors will confirm the toddler has incurable and life-limiting mitochondrial disorder in the coming weeks.
It will spark a devastating storyline for his parents Leanne Battersby and Steve McDonald.
Oliver will be left with a life limiting illness for which there is currently no cure.
The soap worked closely with The Lily Foundation, a charity that supports families and funds research into mitochondrial disease.
The charity became well known two years ago when comedian Peter Kay organised a fundraiser for them.
He said at the time how he had “first hand experience” of the work they do.
Which charity is Corrie working with on the storyline?
Corrie is working with The Lily Foundation.
Liz Curtis, CEO and co-founder said it is hoping to raise awareness of the disease with the soap’s help.
She added: “There is currently no cure for mitochondrial diseases, so those diagnosed face an uncertain future.
“We have been impressed with how sensitively the show’s researchers and script writers have handled this, listening to those who have been affected by the disease and the doctors who support them.
“We see this as a very positive step in our ongoing fight to raise awareness about mitochondrial diseases…
“…support affected families and fund research to find a cure.”
Jane Danson says it might break Leanne
Speaking of the storyline actress Jane Danson said: “We’ve worked closely with Liz Curtis at The Lily Foundation.
“It was harrowing hearing the story of what happened to her daughter Lily.
“But also really amazing to hear how people come through this, how they support each other and learn to live again.
“I’ve also read a lot of literature about how families cope around their children’s diagnosis with life limiting illnesses.
“Looking at the human elements to their stories amidst all the medical speak and hoping I can get it right.”
Meanwhile, Jane added this storyline could “really break” Leanne.
In addition, she said she “feels like it’s the one where I’ve got the most responsibility to get it right”.
What is mitochondrial disease?
Mitochondrial disease, or ‘mito’, is the term for a group of medical disorders caused by mutations in mitochondria.
They are the tiny organelles that are present in nearly every cell in our bodies and which generate about 90% of the energy we need to live.
Cells cannot function properly without healthy mitochondria, so when they fail the consequences can be serious and wide-ranging.
Mitochondrial diseases affect people in multiple ways, depending on which cells are affected.
For example, a person with mitochondrial disease may suffer from seizures, fatigue, vision and hearing loss.
They could also suffer from cognitive disabilities, respiratory problems or poor growth.
Meanwhile, any of the body’s organs and systems can be affected.
This includes the brain, heart, lungs, gut, liver and skin.
For information about the disease and the support available please visit www.thelilyfoundation.org.uk
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