Brave Tilly battles rare disorder that affects only a few girls in the whole country

Tilly McDonough
Tilly McDonough

BRAVE Tilly McDonough has started steroid treatment as she continues her battle against a rare disorder.

The six-year-old from Hartlepool is one of only a few girls in the country to be diagnosed with the life-limiting Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy.

But despite having the condition, she is full of smiles. Mum Michelle, 34, said: “She can’t keep up with the other children at school and when she is ill with it, she asks me if it’s going to happen all the time. But nothing fazes her.”

Earlier this week we told how four-year-old Luke Malcolmson, also from Hartlepool, had the same condition and it affects around one in 3,600 boys.

But DMD is girls is even more rare.

It is believed to have only been diagnosed in a handful of girls across the country.

The condition’s progress means Tilly now needs steroids to stop her heart and lungs from getting any weaker. The smiling youngster, who attends Barnard Grove Primary School, can only get to lessons three days a week as she gets “extremely tired very easily,” said Michelle.

Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy causes muscle degeneration and eventual death.

Unemployed Michelle is married to Christopher McDonough, 44, and they also have an eight-year-old daughter Caitlin, also a pupil at Barnard Grove Primary School.

Michelle said: “We have to take things day by day. Tilly can’t walk very well and she has a wheelchair. It was hard the other day as Tilly couldn’t get out of bed. Her leg was hurting but she would not let it bother her.”

Michelle is helping to promote a fundraising evening to raise awareness of the condition. She is selling raffle tickets for the event being planned by Luke’s mum Jayne Malcolmson, 41.

The fundraising night in the Borough Hall, in Hartlepool, will be held on November 15 with dance crew Ruff Diamond heading the bill.

Other highlights on the night will include an acoustic band, a tombola, auction and a raffle.

is raising money for the Duchenne Action support group.

Tickets are £5 and available from Jayne on 07765 375110 or from Cope’s Studio hair and beauty salon in Raby Road.

Action Duchenne can be contacted on (0208) 556 9955 or by emailing