A NORTH Berwick family have welcomed the start of a trial to find a cure for Rett Syndrome.

Eliza McKinney was diagnosed with the rare neurological condition after her parents Catherine and Ross noticed Eliza was not reaching the expected milestones.

Ross previously told the Courier: “Eliza was a happy, healthy, content baby and developed normally until we realised at around 14 months that she was not reaching all her milestones.

“She went on to have endless tests and we slowly watched her lose the ability to wave, point, sit unaided, feed herself and say any words.

The diagnosis of Rett Syndrome, made when Eliza was three, was described by Catherine as “the worst possible” news – there is currently no cure for Rett Syndrome.

The five-year-old, who is in P1 at Law Primary School, only learned to walk last year and is only able to walk short distances, and with assistance.

A 24-week trial started last month, led by Dr Paramala Santosh, centre for interventional paediatric psychopharmacology and rare diseases (CIPPRD) at King’s College in London to find a cure for the condition.

Eliza’s mum Catherine was thrilled with the news.

She said: “On the days when Eliza isn’t doing so well and when it feels overwhelming, it is great to have ongoing support from the community for the charity and for Eliza.

“The clinical trial news and all the other scientific research means that there is real hope for Eliza’s future – a future where she may breathe without difficulty, learn to speak, use her hands, feed herself, walk without support and live a full life.”

Elly Douglas-Hamilton, chairwoman of Archerfield Estates Limited, is a friend of the McKinney family and has given her support to the campaign.

Archerfield Walled Garden has supported Reverse Rett as its chosen charity for over two years, helping it to raise more than £25,000.

Elly has also become a regional ambassador for the charity, which is undertaking the trial.

She added: “Early lab studies have had really positive results. We will continue to support Reverse Rett.”

Archerfield Walled Garden hosts a fundraising run again this year for the charity.

The event takes place on June 3.