Gresham youngster set to star in BBC documentary

A toddler who has been battling a rare illness is set to star in a new documentary series focusing on the human body.

Angelina Mills from Gresham, who is two in June, is set to star in one of the episodes of the four-part BBC documentary 'Inside the Human Body', being screened weekly on BBC One at the moment.

The series has hit the headlines in recent weeks as the second episode, being screened on Thursday, May 12, is set to show the death of an 84-year-old man identified as 'Gerald', from cancer, follows the human body from conception right up to death.

Angelina, who suffers from a rare condition called sturge-weber syndrome which left her with a port wine stain on her face, epilepsy, bodily weakness and learning delay, features in the third episode set to be shown on Thursday, May 19, which focuses on the human brain.

In a bid to stop seizures caused by the epilepsy she had an operation at Great Ormond Street Hospital last June, which involved disconnecting the outer layer of the affected right half of her brain.

The documentary, presented by Michael Mosley, follows Angelina before and after the operation and charts the effect it has had on her life.

Angelina's mum, Lisa Massingham said the crew had started filming Angelina about a year ago in March / April time.

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They filmed her out and about at the London Aquarium and also conducted interviews with doctors at Great Ormond Street.

They also filmed Angelina after the operation and in January this year came back to film her on the London Eye after she started walking on her own.

Her parents were put in touch with the BBC team after the researchers contacted Great Ormond Street looking for a young child suitable to film.

Ms Massingham said; 'The whole reason we decided to do the documentary was to try and help raise awareness of the illness.'

Both she and her Angelina's father Stephen Mills have been allowed to see a preview of the episode featuring Angelina.

She said: 'It was difficult to watch, especially as at the very beginning you see Angelina have a seizure. To see her go through that, she looked so ill, at the time we never realised how ill she looked because it had become a way of life for us.'

Angelina and her family are set to take part in a sponsored two-mile walk on Friday, June 17, raising money for Sturge-Weber UK. Although no exact starting place has been confirmed as yet, they are hoping to finish on Sheringham beach, with Angelina walking the two miles independently. The walk has been organised both to celebrate Angelina's second birthday on June 2 and also a year since her surgery on June 24.

To sponsor Angelina, visit www.justgiving.com/angelinamills

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