Cash to support people with genetic condition

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A Sheffield hospitals project has been given almost £150,000 to help find and support sufferers of a rare condition which can cause heart attacks and strokes.

Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust has received the money from the British Heart Foundation, meaning specialist nurses will be able to identify and support people living with familial hypercholesterolaemia.

The illness results in exceptionally high levels of cholesterol in the blood, and affects around 120,000 people in the UK.

But the majority don’t know they have the condition, putting them at risk of coronary heart disease.

While there is no cure for the condition, it can be treated successfully.

Some of the funding handed to the project was given to the British Heart Foundation following the ITV festive appeal Text Santa.

Simon Gillespie, chief executive of the foundation, said: “Working with ITV on Text Santa has been amazing and has offered us so many opportunities to highlight coronary heart disease as the UK’s single biggest killer.

“As well as raising awareness of heart disease generally, the appeal has also provided us with an incredible opportunity to showcase the invaluable support BHF nurses offer to both heart patients and their families – they really are lifelines in all communities.”

Money donated by television viewers in 2013 was divided between six charities – Age UK, Barnardo’s, BeatBullying, British Heart Foundation, CLIC Sargent and Help the Hospices.

The broadcaster funded all operating costs, and donations were distributed evenly between the charities within three months of the televised appeal.