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EDITIONS
Monday, 12 August, 2002, 14:56 GMT 15:56 UK
Child treated for rare sun allergy
Glen Henry
The sun's radiation has an adverse affect on Glen
A five-year-old Carmarthenshire boy has been diagnosed with a rare disease which means he cannot spend too much time in the sun.

Glen Henry, from Upper Brynamman, near Ammanford, suffers from ataxia telangiectasia (A-T) which weakens his immune system, especially if he has too much exposure to sunlight.


He will end up in a wheelchair but we can't predict when

David Henry, Glen's father

His parents must make sure he wears factor 60 sun-block and a cap at all times when he is outdoors to limit the effect of the sun's radiation.

David and Donna Henry had noticed the symptoms of unsteadiness and tiredness since he was 18-months-old.

The condition also puts him at a greater risk of contracting cancer in later life.

He is believed to be one of only about 60 children in the UK who have the condition.

"We must watch him getting worse everyday," Mr Henry told BBC News Online.

David and Glen Henry
His parents are planning a trip for him to Disney World

"He will end up in a wheelchair but we can't predict when.

"We have to watch him all the time because if he catches a cold it could develop into pneumonia."

Although Glen does play outside the house with his three brothers Luke, 11, Andrew, nine and John, six, he becomes tired and then goes inside to rest.

The genetic condition has no treatment or cure and is said to be difficult to diagnose.

According to the A-T Society - a charity which conducts research and offers support to families - the condition affects only three people in every one million of the population and there are fewer than 200 sufferers in the UK.

Glen will visit a specialist clinic in Nottingham in November to seek help from experts in the field.

The family are also planning a holiday for Glen to Disney World in Florida next year.


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