24-hour football match in aid of seven-year-old girl who has painful brain and spine condition

Date published: 03 September 2021

A 24-hour football match is being played at the Soccer Factory sports complex in Castleton on the weekend of 11 and 12 September to raise money and support a young girl with a brain and spine condition.

Seven-year-old Halle Barker was diagnosed with Chiari Malformation type I, where part of the brain pushes down into the spinal canal, in May 2021.

The brave little girl has already undergone three brain surgeries, but she may one day lose the ability to walk or use her hands due to the condition.

Chiari I can put pressure on the brainstem, spinal cord and obstruct the flow of fluid causing a variety of symptoms such as headaches, muscle weakness, neck pain, numbness or tingling in the arms and legs as well as swallowing problems.

Some people - including Halle - can develop a condition called Syringomyelia, where a fluid filled cyst forms in the spinal cord which over time can damage the spinal cord, causing weakness, stiffness, loss of sensitivity and reflexes and even paralysis.

Halle's parents have been informed that the surgical procedures aren’t a cure, only a treatment and they don’t know what the future holds.

Adam Trennery, of Rochdale, who has organised the football match in Halle’s honour, hopes the 24-hour game will raise funds to help support Halle with long term treatments, equipment and possible future surgery.

The manager of Rochdale AFC Military Veterans said: “Halle’s parents have been told the surgical procedures will not cure her condition and that one day she may lose the ability to walk or use her hands.

“Halle currently has some neurological damage and struggles to breathe and swallow which is caused by the pressure in her spine, this leads to breathing apnea episodes. She also has a nasogastric tube fitted to support her with food and water. 

“Halle has also suffered with aspirational pneumonia and is still receiving respiratory support.

“Her vocal cords have been affected by the build-up of fluid in her spine which sometimes causes slurred speech; she currently needs physio to help her mobility and strengthen her coordination.

“Unfortunately, Halle will no longer be able to engage in fun activities and contact sports like most children can do as any impact to her neck could cause serious damage

“It is hoped by this fundraiser that we can support Halle long term with treatments, equipment and possible future surgery to help Halle get all the support she requires and makes her life easier after the challenges she has faced at such a young age.”


24-hour football match to be played at the Soccer Factory


The match begins at 8am on Saturday 11 September until 8am Sunday 12 September.

Players for the game are still needed. Interested parties can contact Adam 07473 697009.

Donations to support Halle can be made via GoFundMe:

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