Family's shock as Hartlepool baby diagnosed with cystic fibrosis - dad and aunt prepare to take on Great North Run to help him and others with condition

The family of a Hartlepool baby boy battling cystic fibrosis have spoken of their shock at his diagnosis – and how they intend to support him and others with the condition.

Tuesday, 27th August 2019, 7:00 am
Craig Nicholson with his son Harry and sister Kelly Dudding who are taking part in the Great North Run in aid of Cystic Fibrosis. Picture by Frank Reid

Little Harry Nicholson was diagnosed with the disorder at just three weeks old, after a routine genetic screening procedure at the University Hospital of North Tees.

The genetic condition, which affects more than 10,400 people in the UK, causes sticky mucus to build up in the lungs and digestive system, leading to lung infections and problems digesting food.

Born on March 11, Harry struggled to gain weight – one of the symptoms of the disorder – and parents Deanne and Craig Nicholson were left surprised when they learned their son’s diagnosis.

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Harry Nicholson. Picture by Frank Reid

Now five-months old, the brave little boy has been placed on daily antibiotics and permanent medication called Creon which helps him to digest his food.

Deanne and Craig, who are also parents to son Nathan, three, said after the diagnosis their research into the condition led them to discover the Cystic Fibrosis Trust.

Craig and his sister Kelly Dudding, are now preparing to take on the Great North Run on September 8, to raise funds for the charity.

Craig, 33, said: “When they told us about his cystic fibrosis we saw how it matched his symptoms of not holding his food.

Craig Nicholson with his sister Kelly Dudding who are taking part in the Great North Run in aid of Cystic Fibrosis. Picture by Frank Reid

“But he is now on medication and his a lot better.”

He continued: “My sister and I are not runners, but we have decided to do the Great North Run for the Cystic Fibrosis Trust because Harry’s life-limiting condition means that he may need the charity at some point.”

The pair set out to raise £700 for the charity and already their Go Fund Me page has raised over £1,300.

The charity funds research, works to drive up standards of care, and supports people with the condition and their loved ones.

Kelly, 40, said: “I don’t think anyone expects anything to come back from the genetic screening, so when Harry was diagnosed we were shell shocked.

“I started researching into cystic fibrosis and came across the trust and thought we should do something to raise some money for the charity.”

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