APPEAL: More than £39,000 has been raised for research into Duchenne muscular dystrophy on behalf of Ryan Chidzey, who is affected by the condition
APPEAL: More than £39,000 has been raised for research into Duchenne muscular dystrophy on behalf of Ryan Chidzey, who is affected by the condition

A FINAL push is being made to reach a target of £40,000 for research into a rare disease that affects a Gainford youngster.

The Chidzey family began raising cash for Muscular Dystrophy UK (MDUK) in 2017 after their son, Ryan, was diagnosed with Duchenne muscular dystrophy aged three.

In two years they have raised more than £39,000 for the cause, which has been dubbed Our Fight For Ryan.

There is currently no cure for the condition, and all the cash will go towards the MDK’s Duchenne Research Breakthrough Fund. His grandmother, Rosalyn, said: “We started with a coffee morning in the village hall and that raised about £1,200.

“We have relied largely on the local community. It is just phenomenal – it is amazing what people have done.”

Since then discos have been organised, fun runs arranged and collection tins distributed in and around the village.

Other people in the community have also rallied round by arranging their own fundraising events, with a local athletics group hosting a Run for Ryan event in Gainford and a woman donating £400 which she raised by telling family and friends to make a donation in lieu of giving her Christmas presents.

Barnard Castle Lions had Our Fight For Ryan as their charity of the year in 2018 and added more than £3,000 to the coffers.

Grandfather Bert said: “We have been really dumbfounded; quite amazed.”

Blenkiron

Now the family is hoping to reach £40,000 before they stop their fundraising efforts at the end of the year.

Mrs Chidzey said the target was well within reach with several events in the pipeline.

Gainford Primary where Ryan goes to school, will be hosting a superheroes day and a quiz night is being planned in Barnard Castle.

Mrs Chidzey will once again be hosting a book and puzzle stall at the village’s summer fun day and is appealing for anyone with books and puzzles in good condition to contact her on 01325 730571.

Mrs Chidzey said fundraising was important because the disease is so rare that little government cash is spent on research. It has to be privately funded.

She added: “There is nowhere near a cure but there has been a lot of advancement in the last few years.

“They have extended the lifespan for getting on to 20 years, to getting on to 30 years.

“The money [we are raising] is not to buy him things. Every penny has gone to research so it is not only helping him, it is helping many little boys and girls.