Saving the lives of babies and children born without an immune system since 1987.
2013 was the 21st anniversary of the Bubble Foundation. The Bubble Unit, was established in 1987 to treat babies and children born with defective immune systems, by offering them bone marrow transplantation. Since 1994 and 2000 respectively, the Unit has also begun to treat children suffering from leukaemia, and severe forms of arthritis.
It is a tribute to the whole team that survival rates for the children who are treated on the Bubble Unit have risen initially from 50% to 90% now in 2015.
Apart from the growing expertise of all staff, these great results are also attributable to the wide-ranging research activities, which have been focused upon improving the bone marrow transplant process and finding better ways of looking after patients post transplant, to seek to ensure fewer children die of complications. This has been achieved despite lack of formal research laboratory facilities and will benefit in the future from the recently established Stem Cell Laboratory.
Historically, fundraising started in 1992 by altruistic ward staff, and parents organising events to raise money, specifically for infusion pumps but as the will and determination to raise more money grew, the decision was taken to formalise activity into a registered charity, ‘The Bubble Appeal.’ It was renamed The Bubble Foundation UK, at the same a new unit was built and there was an urgent need for a range of state-of-the-art medical equipment. Evolving imperatives also included research, parent support and accommodation, staff training, and toys and educational equipment.
We aim to raise funds to assist in the care & treatment of children diagnosed with Severe Combined Immunodeficiency (SCID), children born with a gene deficiency that means they are can’t fight infection. There are only 2 centres in the UK & Ireland to treat these children, Newcastle & Great Ormond Street Hospital. We aim to continue to raise both funds & awareness of SCID so we can offer the best chance of success to children who have travelled to us from Birmingham right up to Scotland, Northern Ireland & Eire.
Research into better treatment is important and we work closely with our research partner, Newcastle University, to achieve our objectives. By continuing to fund invaluable research into better diagnostic techniques and genetic technology, we hope to offer better treatments & improved medications to enable the SCID children and sufferers of other immune deficiencies to proceed safely through bone marrow transplants, which offer the only long-term cure for SCID at present where we replace the faulty immune system with one from a healthy donor.
Our fundraising aim is twofold, to help care for current patients and fund invaluable research into the condition to find more effective treatments and ultimately a cure.