Millie Birch from Wakefield

A regional dance champion from the West Yorkshire region who hopes to become a Professional dancer in the future is trying to raise thousands of pounds so she can have life-changing surgery to save her spine.

Millie is the step daughter of a sector professional, Danny Scargill, who runs 3 companies that support the training sector, Develop Your Staff, Diamond Advisory Services and Unicorn Recruitment.

Danny and the rest of Millie’s family are trying to spread awareness of Millie’s condition in pursuit of raising money to provide a donation for Shrines Hospital in Philadelphia who can continue to carry out VBT surgery for people around the world who are in Millie’s situation.

Millie Birch from Wakefield has recently been diagnosed with scoliosis, a condition where the spine curves and twists with no known cause.

Millie, now aged 14 is is the West Yorkshire 2016 Ballet champion and is the East Midlands Junior Modern Champion 2017 and has just been nominated for a scholarship at the International Theatre Awards in February 2019. Millie has previously appeared in West End performances, Local festive Pantomime productions and numerous shows. 

Millie started her dancing career at the age of 3, but just over two months her parents were notified by her dance school that her shoulders were misaligned and advised them to visit their GP.  Her parents received the devastating news that Millie had developed idiopathic adolescent scoliosis.  This was something the family knew nothing about but on further tests it was apparent that Millie’s condition had developed to such an level that surgery is the only option.

Millie currently has a single 45 degree curve in the centre of her spine, but due to her age and current growth rate will deteriorate further as each month passes.

The specialist spinal consultant offered her an option of surgery involving the insertion of metal rods and screws to hold the spine in place called spinal fusion.  This would obviously affect her flexibility and could cause a lifetime of chronic back pain.  This would limit her future in dance and shatter her future dreams.

But after doing some research, Millie’s family found a pioneering treatment being offered in the USA and Europe where instead of rods and bars being inserted into her spine, a tether would be screwed to her spine preserving flexibility and growth.

Vertebral Body Tethering (VBT) also known as fusionless surgery is offered by a number of spinal hospitals around the world but currently not in the UK.

Now Millie’s family are trying to fundraise ahead of Millie’s surgery to secure the pioneering procedure.  A whole host of events are planned to raise funds including charity events and challenging walks on the three peaks of North Yorkshire in April.

This hospital is a charity organisation funded by donations from the public. We would love to raise as much money as possible to donate to this fantastic hospital who will hopefully be providing Millie with this life changing spinal surgery together with supporting Millies care pre surgery in travel and accommodation costs, medication costs and post operative care both in the US and back in the UK for the following years of her growth, probably until she reaches the age of 19.

A Gofundme page has been set up for donations ahead of the charity events where donations can be made at www.gofundme.com/millievbt

Millie’s family would be so grateful to anyone who can donate or simply circulate to spread awareness.

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