A MUM has spoken of the help her family received from a specialist epilepsy charity after her young daughter was diagnosed with the condition.

Esme Dufton, six, of Wyke, was diagnosed with epilepsy in July last year and her family turned to Yeadon-based Epilepsy Action for help.

“We found Epilepsy Action when Esme was first diagnosed,” her mum Kirstin Dufton said.

“We’d got an appointment for her, but the waiting time was 15 weeks. We were so worried about her and didn’t know who could help.

“I rang the Epilepsy Action helpline and they were just so reassuring and offered some advice.

“They talked to me about Esme and then posted some more information to us.

“It doesn’t sound like much, but having someone to talk to who totally understands what you are going through as a parent was just invaluable.”

She added: “We’ve recently contacted the helpline again due to Esme’s medication being discontinued and they gave us some really good advice.

"It’s a fantastic service and I would definitely recommend it to anyone with epilepsy or their carers who are struggling.”

Earlier this year, Mrs Dufton contacted the charity to tell it about the work that Esme’s school, Worthinghead Primary School, Wyke Lane, had done to support her.

The school then went on to win a national education award.

“Esme’s school were amazing with her, so we nominated them for an Edward award to say thank you.

“But we also wanted to do something to raise money for, and thank, Epilepsy Action,” she added.

When Kirstin spotted the Epilepsy Action Reindeer Stampede taking place at Lister Park in Manningham, Bradford, she encouraged Esme, her brother Harlan, nine, and dad Jason to sign up.

They will don their reindeer antlers on Sunday, December 3, to take part in the festive 5k fun run.

“Harlan agreed because he wanted to raise some money to help other people who have epilepsy like his sister.

“It’s also a good way for him to be involved, as sometimes he can feel a bit left out. Jason wanted to do it because I think, as a parent, you can sometimes feel a bit helpless but this is a way he can help,” Mrs Dufton added.

And Esme is excited to take part in the mini Reindeer Stampede, which is for children under eight.

Mrs Dufton said: “Esme can sometimes feel a bit tired with headaches and stomach aches, even though she’s been seizure free for ten months but the mini Stampede is still something she can do and she feels like she’s helping other children who have epilepsy.”

The family has set up a JustGiving page - justgiving.com/fundraising/kirstin-dufton - which has raised more than £550.

Since starting in 2010, the Reindeer Stampede has raised more than £35,000.

Runners of all abilities can take part and support more than 600,000 people affected by epilepsy in the UK.

The Reindeer Stampede is open to anyone aged eight and upwards. Younger children can take part in a mini Reindeer Stampede of 400 metres.

Registration starts at 9am on Sunday, December 3, in Lister Park. Advance entry costs £14 for adults and £8 for children aged 15 and under. People can sign up on the day for an additional £2.

The children’s mini Reindeer Stampede, for under eights, costs £3 on the day. Children under the age of 16 must be accompanied by an adult. There are volunteering opportunities for non-runners. For more information or to sign up, visit epilepsy.org.uk/reindeer or contact the events team on 0113 210 8797.