Aberdonian sisters Allana and Jasmine Massie completed a charity skydive over Perthshire with Paragon Skydiving on Sunday July 5, raising £2,000 for Scotland’s only vasculitis charity, the Lauren Currie Twilight Foundation.
The sisters were joined by Allana’s partner Aaron Ross and his mother Yvonne Ross, and Jasmine’s partner Graeme Anderson, all from Aberdeen.
Allana’s mother, Karen Massie, was diagnosed with vasculitis in January of this year, and the sisters decided to raise money for the Foundation and awareness of this little-known condition by skydiving.
22 year-old Allana said, “When my mum was diagnosed with vasculitis, we were especially shocked because we hadn’t ever heard of the condition before – that’s why we’ve decided to raise awareness by jumping out of a plane.
“The doctors advised us to get in contact with the Lauren Currie Twilight Foundation, whose help and support has been invaluable to us.
“The skydive was absolutely terrifying, but it is all for a great cause!”
The Lauren Currie Twilight Foundation was set up by Grant and Adrienne Currie following the tragic death of their 15-year old daughter and only child Lauren in 2010. Lauren had suffered from Granulomatosis with Polyangiitis (formerly known as Wegener’s Granulomatosis), a variant of the auto-immune disease vasculitis.
Grant Currie said, “We can’t thank Allana, Jasmine and the team enough for undertaking such a feat in support of the Lauren Currie Twilight Foundation.
“Without fundraisers and the generous people who donate we wouldn’t be able to help nearly as many vasculitis suffers, so this sort of support is really vital to us.”
Vasculitis refers to an inflammation of the blood vessels. It is an uncommon illness and different variations can affect people of different ages.
Lauren’s condition was only diagnosed in the final hours of her life and her parents realised that with earlier diagnosis her life could have been saved.
Because vasculitis is uncommon and early diagnosis is an important factor in the effectiveness of medical care, public awareness of the condition is one of the charity’s main objectives.
As well as educating the general public, the charity educates medical professionals on how to spot and diagnose the disease.
The Foundation has provided £62,000 to the University of Aberdeen, which will be used to support a three-year PhD research project on vasculitis.
The Lauren Currie Twilight Foundation aims to raise the international profile of vasculitis, and is one of only two vasculitis-specific charities operating in the UK. It is keen to collaborate with other relevant charities, including those in the US.
Dr Hilary Jones, patron of The Lauren Currie Twilight Foundation, has featured in a video explaining the condition, which can be found here.
The charity’s next big event is the Black & Red Vasculitis Charity Ball at the Thistle Hotel, Glasgow on Friday 18 September 2015.
The ball, which will include an exclusive performance from X Factor winner Shane Ward, has been held annually since 2011 and has raised over £300,000 for the Lauren Currie Twilight Foundation in that time.
Images of previous fundraising events are available on request.
We would be delighted to arrange interviews with Grant Currie or Allana Massie.
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What is the background to The Lauren Currie Twilight Foundation?
Lauren was only 15 when she tragically and prematurely lost her battle with vasculitis on October 23 2010 at Crosshouse Hospital. Lauren died from Wegener’s granulomatosis – a form of vasculitis which had remained undiagnosed until the final hours of her life. Lauren’s lungs had been fatally damaged by vasculitis, which resulted in internal bleeding and contributed to her death.
The charity was founded within a couple of days of Lauren’s death by her parents, Grant and Adrienne. The charity was named in Lauren’s memory as a tribute to their daughter’s inspirational character and features ‘Twilight’ in the title in recognition of the love she had for the Twilight books and the films. The charity was set up to help and support anyone affected by vasculitis, to raise awareness of the disease throughout the United Kingdom and to fund dedicated research that seeks to identify and improve treatments.
Lauren’s charity was formerly registered in Scotland in December 2010 with the Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator (OSCR). Charity Registration Number SC041934.
What are our charity objectives?
Vasculitis has no known cause, no cure and can be fatal if left undiagnosed. The charity set out key objectives in our constitution covering awareness, education, research and patient support. The charity meets these objectives from public donations and the proceeds from our own charity events. The Foundation does not receive any government funding.
The charity patron, Dr Hilary Jones, has produced a charity awareness video that provides general information and awareness of vasculitis. Dr Hilary had an integral role in raising the awareness of meningitis in the UK and LCTF have appointed him patron to support the heightening of awareness for vasculitis.
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