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5 April 2022

Selfless act from young Town fan for teacher with ultra-rare life-shortening condition

Eight-year-old Noah and his teacher, Verity Grainger, were special guests of the Club at Saturday’s fixture with Cambridge. 

Last month, Town fan Noah wrote a letter to CEO Mark Ashton about his ‘amazing’ teacher, who is a supporter of the U’s. 

In the three-page letter, Noah explains how Mrs Grainger has put herself at risk during the Covid-19 pandemic to ensure that he and the rest of her pupils at Tannery Drift First School do not miss out on their education. 

Mrs Grainger lives with an ultra-rare life-shortening conditioning called MNGIE (mitochondrial neurogastrointestinal encephalomyopathy). An estimated 200 people have the condition in the world.

Verity and her sister are two of those individuals, while the family were devastated by the loss of their eldest sister, Gail, last year aged just 42 due to the disease.

MNGIE disease is a condition that affects several parts of the body, particularly the digestive system and nervous system.

Treatment is possible but, given its rarity, expensive, with the family currently aiming to raise £500,000 to cover the costs of enzyme replacement therapy for Verity and her sister, Zillah.

Noah and Mrs Grainger 2.jpg

Touched by Noah’s story, the Club invited him and his family, as well as Mrs Grainger and her family, to watch Saturday’s game from the directors box. 

The two families dined in the boardroom and were also presented with shirts by Kieran McKenna and Cambridge manager Mark Bonner pre-match. 

A signed shirt has been donated by the Club to help raise money for the cause, while Blues fans can show their support by donating here. 

Please give generously where possible. 

Town CEO Mark said: "I was genuinely moved when I read the letter from Noah a few weeks ago. 

"The impact that Mrs Grainger has on Noah, an amazing young man, and the rest of her pupils is clear to see. 

"It was a privilege to have him, Mrs Grainger and their families with us as special guests on Saturday. 

"I hope that they all had a great day at Portman Road, and I’d encourage supporters to spare what they can to contribute towards the treatment for Verity and her sister."

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