A CHARITY set up by the parents of a nine-year-old Alexandria boy with a rare life-threatening condition has reached its fund-raising goal of almost £300,000 two years earlier than anticipated.

The ROHHAD Association was established in May 2015 by Elizabeth and Ian Hunter from Alexandria, parents of Aaron, who was diagnosed with the condition when he was five years old.

ROHHAD is an acronym for rapid-onset obesity with hypothalamic dysregulation, hypoventilation and autonomic dysregulation.

The syndrome causes the areas of the brain that control all Aaron’s organs and hormonal and endocrine system to malfunction.

Aaron, the only child in West Dunbartonshire with the condition, started to feel unwell when he was about two and a half.

Elizabeth, 38, who also has a daughter, 14-year-old Lauren, said: “Current treatment maintains and supports Aaron but there’s no cure.

“Doctors don’t know what causes ROHHAD and the average time for diagnosis is two and a half years.

“The earlier we know about ROHHAD the better the outcome for the child and can improve their quality of life.”

The charity shared the news that they have raised a staggering £275,000 on their Facebook page recently and thanked all their supporters, adding a ‘massive thank-you’ to their special friend, actor Robert Downey Jr, for helping raise their profile.

Aaron asked his hero Iron Man to help find a cure for the condition in a video appeal which went viral – and led to Aaron meeting the Hollywood star, who plays Iron Man in the Marvel comic universe films, in London earlier this year.

The actor also joined in Aaron’s Muddy Puddle Challenge in a video seen by his 20 million Instagram followers.

Elizabeth added: “Aaron doesn’t like to complain, he’s very brave and strong.

“He doesn’t even like to press his buzzer too much to ask for the nurses!

“He’s not doing this for himself. He hates this illness, because he’s lost many friends, so he wants to help other children.”

“I’m thrilled Aaron has been able to see the benefits of what we have achieved.

“We are very excited about the potential that this funding has to make such a big difference in ROHHAD research.”

For more information visit rohhadassociation.com or like their Facebook page ‘Rohhad Association’.