Page last updated at 15:12 GMT, Tuesday, 30 March 2010 16:12 UK

Girl with ageing disease raises money for gathering

Hats for girl with ageing disease

A 12-year-old girl who suffers from a rare ageing disease is raising money to host a gathering for other sufferers.

Hayley Okines, of Bexhill, East Sussex, and her family are trying to find £30,000 to host 24 families from across Europe also affected by progeria.

It is hoped enough money will be raised to provide travel, accommodation and activities for a week-long summer camp.

Diagnosed with Hutchinson-Gilford progeria syndrome, Hayley's body ages eight times faster than normal.

'Fun and laughter'

Hayley's mother Kerry, who is organising the camp, said: "It's very important that these children get together, to feel that they're not isolated and they're not the only ones to have this disease.

"And for them to have a week of fun and laughter."

Although only in the planning stages, 10 families have already confirmed that they will be travelling to England to take part in the summer camp.

Students at Bexhill High School, which Hayley attends, held a "Hats for Hayley" day, to help raise money for the gathering.

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