LITTLE Nancy Jameson has undergone pioneering medical trials thousands of miles from her home.
The three-year-old sufferers from a rare genetic illness that affects just 200 people across the world.
Friends and local businesses known to the youngster’s family recently raised the £7,500 needed to take her to a medical conference in California.
The bi-annual U.S. convention gathers together some of the world’s leading specialists to discuss Nancy’s condition, known as 11Q Terminal Deletion Disorder.
The chromosome abnormality has left the East Boldon tot unable to walk or talk. It also causes mental and physical delays, blood disorders, facial dysmorphia, vision impairment, hearing and behavioural problems.
Nancy’s parents, Martin and Kerres, who also have a five-year-old son, Ned, were keen to take her to the convention in San Diego, which attracts families of sufferers of the condition, also known as Jacobsen Syndrome, to meet and share their experiences.
While at the seminar, Nancy underwent skin biopsy trials as part of a new technology which converts stem cells into neurons, which could potentially help re-programme brain cells.
She also took part in behavioural trials, the results of which will hopefully help scientists specialise in the condition discover new findings.
Martin, 39, who works for a publishing company, said: “We learned about emerging research on heart abnormalities, immune system deficiency and blood platelet malfunction - Paris Trousseau Syndrome - all of which could prove lifesaving.
“Other specialists covered the latest technology available regarding ADHD, autism, short stature, constipation and the management of various health and behavioural issues.
“It was also enormously useful for us to meet more than 40 other families and their children who also suffer from the disorder and to learn how they cope and manage with all the challenges which it brings.”
Because Nancy’s condition is so rare, and only identified in the early 1970s, the Jameson family has been unable to get much information on her long-term future.
However, at the convention, the world’s leading specialist in Nancy’s condition, Dr Paul Grossfield, was on hand to answer questions, delivering his latest research and findings.
Kerres, 41, said: “I’m quite a positive person and I get excited at what Nancy is doing now and any little developments and progress she makes.
“She is the most placid and beautiful girl, and I feel she’s very special. I am proud to have her as my daughter.”
Martin said the family has been bowled over by the generosity of the business community and everyone who helped them raise the cash.
They would particularly like to thank Greggs, Fastflow Pipeline Services, Distinctive Publishing, SCS, Sabic, Hutton Chemicals, Persuasion PR, John Gillender Photography as well as family and friends.