The world’s oldest football club, an England and Premier League star and a Sheffield advertising agency have teamed up to help a charity raise much-needed funds to support children born with the rare and unpleasant skin condition, Congenital Melanocytic Neavus (CMN).
Advertising agency, AdPlace Marketing and Media, are auctioning off a superb framed Sheffield FC shirt, signed by England star Gary Cahill, in an online auction.
Sheffield FC, acknowledged by FIFA as the world’s oldest football club, are based in Dronfield where Cahill grew up and played his first football as a youngster before going on to celebrated career that has included playing in the Premier League with Aston Villa, Bolton Wanderers and now Chelsea.
And among his school friends there was Amy Helliwell, who now works for AdPlace, which is owned by her dad and who sponsor Sheffield FC.
Amy’s son Max was born with CMN and it was that and the relatively unknown nature of the disease that prompted her to contact Cahill and start the fund-raising.
“When Max, who is now two, was born with CMN the medical staff where he was born knew little about it,” said Amy, who now lives in Laughton Common.
“We recently found out about the charity Caring Matters Now that funds vital research into the disorder and we want to do everything we can to help them raise much-needed money to help other children with CMN.”
CMN manifests itself as large dark moles on a baby’s skin and these can cover up to 80 per cent of the body.
Often these moles are covered in thick hair and can be very unsettling to look at.
And the worst-affected cases of CMN can prove to be fatal, as the condition can grow internally.
“Max is doing fine now but he had to have an operation to remove a tumour when he was younger because it can be quite volatile if left untreated,” continued Amy.
“None of the doctors knew about this when we first started taking Max for treatment but one, who had seen the disease in India, had heard of it and recommended us to a doctor at Great Ormond Street Hospital in London who had been doing research into it.”
“When I wrote to Gary Cahill asking him to sign the shirt, I really didn’t expect much of it or where it would go, but he signed it and now we are going to auction it off online.”
All proceeds from the sale of the signed shirt, will go to Caring Matters Now to help their valuable work helping to finance the CMN clinic and medical research at Great Ormond Street.
““We just want to help raise funds so that more research and testing can be carried it because tests are still very expensive at the moment,” said Amy.
“But by raising some more money and awareness of CMN, we can help increase knowledge of it and help more people get treatment in the future.”
To bid for the signed shirt, please go to www.adplacemarketing.com and complete the form.
For more information about the rare CMN condition, please visit www.caringmattersnow.co.uk