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A BIG-hearted Thatcham schoolgirl living with a heart condition raised nearly £300 for a national charity last week.Kelsey-Mae Vicker Craddock was two years old when she was diagnosed with aortic regurgitation. The condition sees blood leak back...

A BIG-hearted Thatcham schoolgirl living with a heart condition raised nearly £300 for a national charity last week.

Kelsey-Mae Vicker Craddock was two years old when she was diagnosed with aortic regurgitation. The condition sees blood leak back through the heart's aortic valve; leading to the heart being unable to deal with the sudden change of volume and respiratory failure. Kelsey-Mae has to have regular check ups with a heart consultant and doctors suspect that her heart valves are damaged and are trying to hold off putting her through surgery.

Her parents Adrian and Clare said that their daughter had become very aware of her condition and was very keen to help others by fundraising for The British Heart Foundation. The five-year-old raised £283 for the charity at a cake sale at Parsons Down Infant School last Friday, coinciding with the charity's Wear It Beat It campaign day.

Mr Vicker Craddock said that his daughter was really pleased with the amount raised and said that the support on the day had been amazing.

"She was really pleased and happy. The school was happy from the word go to support it. We made posters on Facebook asking if people wanted to donate so we ended up driving round collecting cakes. It's times like this when you realise what sort of people are out there."

The family's after school cake sale funds were boosted when the school told them that the parent teacher association were holding a quiz night and they also raffled off a donated cake.

The cake sale is the latest event in Kelsey-Mae's desire to fundraise, with events growing from being sponsored to wear red all day to talks of holding a fundraising fete.

Mr Vicker Craddock said that living with his daughter's condition was quite tiring; having to constantly watch Kelsey-Mae because any cuts have to be thoroughly cleaned out. Kelsey-Mae also suffers from sleep apnea where breathing stops during sleep, which can lead to high blood pressure during the day. Despite this, his daughter was living life to the full.

"It doesn't phase her at all," he said. "She's a bungle of joy always running here and there. It's hard but we have to keep going."

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