Supporting Giselle a British Champion

£8,735 of £55,000 goal

Raised by 123 people in 10 months
Hello dear friends and supporters,

We are trying to raise funds for our daughter Giselle.

Giselle is 14yrs old and has had a very successful Rhythmic Gymnastics career.

She was British and English Champion for 3 years in a row. 2014, 2015, 2016.

Her achievements made even better when you realise, she achieved these titles whilst she had an undiagnosed knee condition. Later diagnosed as Patella Maltracking.

Giselle has now been diagnosed with Adolescent Idiopathic Scoliosis (AIS) she has a double curvature of the spine!

She will have to wear a full back brace (Boston Brace) ... 21hrs a day for up to 2 years.

Giselle qualifies for the pioneering back surgery VBT (Vertebral Body Tethering) but this type of surgery unfortunately is not offered by the NHS in the UK.
Giselle will be offered surgery here in the U.K. under the NHS, but it’ll be Spinal Fusion. Though it is a highly successful route for some, it is not the direction that we want to go. We would prefer the pioneering VBT for which Giselle qualifies for, as it is less evasive and would give her more of a natural range of movement and back flexibility.

Her consultant at the ‘Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital’ in Stanmore has been wonderful and so helpful. But as it’s all very new to us and we still have so many questions.

Giselle also has an old injury that was diagnosed at Stanmore. She broke her back! This sounds scarier than it actually is... Her back has mended itself, one of the lumbar vertebrae at the base of her spine as shifted on top of the next vertebrae along... a common injury for gymnasts and dancers apparently. This may also be corrected by her surgeon if Giselle wishes. The gymnastics was the cause of the 'break', but not the curve.

With regards to the fund raising for Giselle... The initial sum we hope to raise is £5,000 in order to pay for a ‘Private’ Gensingen Brace, specialist seam-free vests and specialist physiotherapy. But should her scoliosis remain unstable and her spine continue to bend, we would then want to raise up to £45,000 for the pioneering Tethering surgery in Europe, particularly Germany or Turkey.

There will be long periods that we need to travel and be with Giselle abroad for the surgeries etc so we are aiming to raise £50,000 to cover all eventualities.

The first stage on the road to recovery will be the first £5,000 to get her preferred brace organised as soon as possible. The quicker we can fund the initial stage the better outcome for our little girl.

Paula is taking place in the London to Brighton Bike Ride 2019 to help with the Fund raising, she will be donating some monies raised to the British Heart Foundation.

Giselle is a fighter, she is so positive and strong... we are not sure where she gets it from. Though we admire her greatly for her strength of mind, it is going to be a long painful journey for her.

Giselle has joined ‘Dance Warehouse’ in Canterbury for ballet, contemporary and progressive technique classes, in order to keep her spine supple (which is good to help with the back pain she feels), and our dear friend, Ionut Trandaburu, (who is one of the coaches for the GB’s Mens Artistic Gymnastics Team) at Pegasus Gymnastics Club in Maidstone, is helping Giselle with a training program for her. She must keep as strong as possible, again, to help her back.
Giselle would have loved to continue on with her Rhythmic Gymnastics, but another crushing blow is that she no longer has her Coach Anni Ahmavaara, as she moved back to Finland.

 At the moment her Rhythmic Gymnastics dream is over, but like she says so beautifully

... “at the end of the day, no one can take my English and British titles away from me” ...

 Giselle is a very special young lady who will succeed in whatever direction she wishes to focus on in the future, but she has a very difficult and long journey ahead.

Actually though, Time is sadly not a luxury Giselle can afford... Should we run out of time and Giselle isn't able to have the VBT operation, due to  her reaching skeletal maturity or her curves becoming too severe, all the money donated, will be donated to other children with the same condition as Giselle that also need to fund raise for their operation.

Both Marc and Paula are grateful for any help and support you can give to our beautiful and talented Giselle.

Words cannot ever say enough but thank you so very much.

God bless you and thank you. Regards Paula and Marc.
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This is fusion surgery... This is why we want to do whatever we can so that Giselle doesn’t have fusion...

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Hello... Here is the link (if I’ve done it correctly) to a snippet of video from Gis’s Fundraising Evening at Buxted Park Hotel... It was such a wonderful evening, with so many kind and generous people. Thank you all so much.

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Today we were back at LOC in Kingston Upon Thames. Gis’s orthotist is very pleased with Gis’s progress so far. Giselle will be able to keep this brace for a few months longer as she hasn’t grown very much, but David tweaked it more and even changed the straps to a colour that Giselle prefers.
We arrived at LOC for a 12.30 appointment and didn’t leave till 3.30!! David’s attention to detail is remarkable..
Giselle’s spine rotation has decreased also... which has a lot to do with the Schroth physiotherapy.
So... still positives all round which is very reassuring.
Onwards and upwards for a surgery free future
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Just a quick update to say...
Thank you, to everyone that came to the ‘Kings & Queen’ fundraising event on Sunday...
We can’t thank you all enough for what you all have done to help Giselle.
The auction alone raised over £10,000!!
For me, it was very special to meet so many of the people that up until Sunday, had been just names that Marc would talk about constantly. So many of you that helped and followed Giselle throughout her Gymnastics career.
Thank you everyone!
A full update of the fabulous evening will follow... please please send any photos or videos from the night to Marc, so that I can include them in my future update/s..
Much love xx
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£8,735 of £55,000 goal

Raised by 123 people in 10 months
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