Adrian Wieclawski was diagnosed with Paediatric Autoimmune Neuropsychiatric Disorder (PANDAS) last year.
The rare condition can be caused by a misdirected immune response to a common infection such as strep throat, ear infection or scarlet fever. Adrian’s antibodies are attacking his own brain – which has led to Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), aggression and developmental delay.
He also reads and writes at the approximate level of a five-year-old.
“I am asking for help and support so that we can provide the necessary treatment for Adrian to be able to have a happy, healthy, normal future,” said his mum, Magdelena Sadowska, 37.
She and her husband, Adrian Stanke, 33, need to raise the funds for specialist immunoglobulin therapy in Ukraine. They have already been for six sessions at a cost of £4,000 to £5,000 for each one, and now want to take Adrian for six more.
“We have already seen a huge improvement,” added Magdelena. “He will chat, play and giggle in a way which he didn’t before. His doctors have said that if we continue the treatment, he may eventually be like any other boy of all ages. All I want is the best for him, like any parent.”
The couple are still trying to pay off debts incurred over the first round of treatment, and need upwards of £40,000 to cover the next stage. Each month, Adrian will need to spend five days in a row receiving eight-hour-long infusions.
Magdelena said: “In May, during a follow on visit, we were told that unfortunately the fight is still far from over. Although Adrian has shown some very good improvement, his treatment will need to continue, as his condition will only regress if we discontinue now.
“It’s very important that the therapy is carried out now as there is a much better chance of it being successful before he hits puberty.”
Spiderman fan Adrian will be taking part in the Marvel Find Your Power Superhero Challenge this July. The Find your Power Challenge is a countrywide disability sports event which encourages people to set their own challenges – from 100 metres to 1,000 km or more – and complete them however they want, when they want.
The event is usually a mass participation event at Dorney Lake in Windsor, one of the main sites featured in the 2012 London Olympics – however, it is being held remotely for a second year, due to the pandemic.
Magdelena and her husband, Adrian, are being supported by Tree of Hope, a named children’s charity partner of the Marvel Superhero Series for a third year running.
The charity helps families fundraise for children like Adrian with healthcare needs and provides charity status to benefit from gift aid, corporate support, while also providing donor reassurance.
PANDAS is medical conditions which present primarily with neuro-psychiatric symptoms. It is caused by a misdirected immune response to a common infection – rather thanexperiencing the normal symptoms of an infection, those who are susceptible can become extremely ill with a range of peculiar and seemingly unrelated symptoms overnight, often losing the ability to function normally.
While there are no official statistics for the prevalence of these conditions in the UK, US researchers estimated that one in 200 children may be affected.
For more information, visit www.panspandasuk.org.
To donate to Adrian’s fund, visit www.treeofhope.org.uk/adrian-tomasz-wieclawski.