Altrincham to hold charity ‘MarKitt’

May 29, 2014 9:24 am

Six-year-old Kitt, the youngest daughter of Nick Johnson and Jenny Thompson, who recently took over the running of Altrincham Market, suffers from a rare neurological condition called Rett syndrome.

This means whilst she hit all her usual milestones until she was about 18 months old, she started to regress, at first she became unsteady, then lost her speech and then developed severe and complex epilepsy which is typical of the condition.

‘We found out Kitt had Rett following DNA testing although we already suspected she had the condition after we met a girl suffering from the condition at Festival No6 in Wales. The problem with the condition is that it is regressive so things for Kitt are likely to get worse,’ says Jenny.

Rett only affects girls because it causes a mutation in one of the X chromosomes and as girls have two X chromosomes they can compensate for one faulty one. It affects around 1 in 15,000 – which means there are 2,000 girls living with the condition in the UK.

To help raise awareness of the condition, Altrincham Market is holding a special ‘MarKitt’ on Sunday 29th June from 10-4pm from which they’ll give all the proceeds from the stall fees to Didsbury-based charity, ReverseRett. Stallholders will also get involved, with many holding their own fundraising activities.

Successful research undertaken by Dr Adrian Bird in Edinburgh on mice demonstrated reversed the condition and therefore time and effort is being put into research, however as it is a rare disorder the resources are very restricted.

Says Jen: ‘Because Rett is a rare disease it doesn’t get the funding here in the UK, and most research is done in the States. ReverseRett is affiliated to the US charity and is staffed by Rett parents who are championing and putting significant money into funding research into the disorder – the thinking is that research may also feed into other neurological disorders such as Parkinson’s.’

The charity ‘MarKitt’ is also special as it marks the last one before the opening of Market House, scheduled a week later, which will take Alty Market into the next, long-awaited chapter of its 700 year history.

‘We hope it’ll be a busy and fun day for traders, families young and old, the able and not-so-able’ says Jen.

Like to take part? Please contact

If you’d like more details about Rett, visit


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