THE HEARTBREAKING tale of a Hereford family whose three children all suffer from a rare condition has been shortlisted for a national award.

The five minute film explains the devastating impact of juvenile Batten disease, a rare condition which sadly affects twins Corey and Toby, 14, and little sister Izzy, aged nine.

Children with this heartbreaking condition experience a wide range of distressing symptoms including sight loss resulting in blindness, tremors, epilepsy, problems with balance and walking, behavioural and psychological issues and, as the disease progresses, difficulties with chewing and swallowing. Tragically, the disease is fatal.

“You think it just can’t be happening to your children, it can’t be real,” said dad Jody Penn. “But deep down inside you know it is.”

The film also highlights the potentially groundbreaking work taking place at Cardiff University, where researchers funded by children’s charity Action Medical Research are dedicated to working towards the first ever treatment for juvenile Batten disease.

Jody and his wife Dee are delighted to know the film is reaching a wide audience.

“For us it’s absolutely fantastic, as it means more awareness and will hopefully draw in more funds for this research,” added Mr Penn.

Judges will now draw up a list of finalists who will be invited to an awards ceremony in London in March where the winners will be announced.

The film can be viewed on: