Chloe, 12, on the run to fight sleeping sickness

Chloe McCulloch and mum Sarah
Chloe McCulloch and mum Sarah

A 12-year-old girl with a rare disease which can cause her to collapse to the floor up to ten times a day will take part in a charity run to help fight the disorder.

Woldgate College pupil Chloe McCulloch ​suffers from a condition called cataplexy which attacks her central nervous system, causing her knees to buckle. She also suffers from narcolepsy, a condition which ​causes her to fall asleep uncontrollably throughout the day​.

Along with her mum Sarah, and friends ​an​d cousins she will run in a special race called Chloe’s race which will be part of the Race for Life at York on 5 July. The race will raise cash for research into narcolepsy and cataplexy.​

“She’ll just do as much as she can on the day and we’ll give her plenty of assistance, maybe with the link of an arm,” said mum Sarah.

“Fortunately, most of the time she can feel when a cataplectic attack is coming on, and if one happens she’ll just be able to sit down on the grass.”

Mum Sarah said she is determined that Chloe has as normal a life as possible.

Staff at Woldgate College have even set up a bed at school especially​ for when she suffers a bout of narcolepsy.

Local doctors were initially said to have been baffled by Chloe’s illness after she awoke one morning and started falling down. The diagnosis came ​in March this year after hundreds of tests were carried out in hospital.

​Because her condition is so rare, ​the only hospital which can treat her is at Middlesborough where the family, of Bintley Drive, Pocklington​, ​​must ​make regular visits.

Mum Sarah says she’s had to reduce her hours working with adults with leaning difficulties at East Riding of Yorkshire Council in order to care for Chloe​. She added: “​Our world has been upturned​. Chloe has been prescribed the most horrendous drugs to try and just survive through the day without having to constantly sleep or fall to the floor. It’s a nightmare.”

​“May I ask the wonderful people in Pocklington to help me find a cure for Chloe and all the others out there​. There’s no goal amount we’re hoping to raise. We’ll just be grateful for anything we can get.”

If you want to raise money to help Chloe, you can pick up a sponsor form in the Market Street Cafe, Whispers Tea Room or Toddy’s Bar, all in Pocklington, as well as at Pocklington Chiropody Clinic.