THE family of a six-year-old girl with a genetic disorder are raising awareness of a cause close to their hearts.

Natalie Stevenson, from Astley, set up The Rainbow Dream Charity after her daughter Bella Morris was diagnosed with vanishing white matter disease (VWM) at the age of two in March 2016.

The disorder, which has no cure, affects the nervous system and causes neurological symptoms.

Funds from Natalie's charity are donated to Professor Orna Elroy-Stein to research the disorder and around £50,000 has been raised for her work since the cause was established.

Former Fred Longworth High School pupil Natalie, 34, said: "With looking after Bella we have to do what we can to make sure she doesn't get poorly.

"She can be fine one day then the next she can be ill and is more likely to catch infections and need to go to hospital.

"Bella has managed to stay stable for around a year-and-a-half now though.

"The funds we have raised goes to research VWM and we get regular updates on how the work is going.

"Although there is no cure for it, the professor hopes to find a way of stopping its progression."

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Bella with her family

As well as her mum, Bella, who has an electric wheelchair, lives with her dad, Peter Morris, 38, and older brother Tyler, 11.

"Bella loves smiling, is very affectionate and brightens up the room when she walks in," said Natalie, a radiographer at the Royal Albert Edward Infirmary in Wigan.

"She is very girly and loves princesses and pink unicorns."

The community has played a vital role in raising awareness and money for the charity.

Recently Slimming World's Gin Pit group, which includes Bella's grandmother, Julie McCluskey, donated their spare change at their weekly sessions.

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From left; Slimming World consultant Liz Parsons, Natalie, Bella, and group member Christine Fletcher

Another member of the group, Christine Fletcher, also made crocheted toys.

Altogether they raised £300 for the charity.

To donate to The Rainbow Dream Charity click here.