Birmingham Children’s Hospital has recruited its 500th participant for a ground-breaking project aiming to transform the diagnosis and treatment of rare diseases and cancer.

The sign up of eight-year-old Gamaleh Saeed signalled the recruitment milestone for the pioneering 100,000 Genomes Project – a national initiative that’s working to decode complete sets of human genetic information to help scientists and doctors understand more about specific conditions.

Gamaleh, from Sparkhill, in Birmingham, is being cared for by the leading paediatric hospital as she has a problem with her calcium levels and parathyroid glands, which makes her feel weak and affects her appetite. Like many other children and young people across the country, it’s hoped that through the project a diagnosis could be made, leading to more targeted and personalised treatment.

The UK is aiming to become the first ever country to introduce this technology in its mainstream health system.

Since the launch of the project in June 2015, Birmingham Children’s Hospital has been a passionate supporter and has become the leading recruiter in the region.

Gamaleh’s father, Showki Saleen, is backing the work, not just to help his daughter but also others in similar situations.

He said: “This is a really fantastic project and we couldn’t be prouder to be part of it. Even if it doesn’t work for Gamaleh and we don’t find a diagnosis, it’s great to know that children with a similar condition in the future might not have to go through what we’ve been through looking for the most effective treatment.” Read more

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