Ryan part of swim team which raised £23,000

Ryan White
Ryan White

A teenager who has a muscle wasting disease helped raise £23,000 for a hospice that provides care for him.

Ryan White, 14, of Ashby Parva, has Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy – a condition that causes all muscles to weaken over time.

He was diagnosed when he was six years old.

He is confined to a wheelchair and has to have regular physiotherapy to ease the pain and stiffness in his lower limbs.

He is also starting to lose the strength in his arms.

But the determined teenager did not let any of that stop him when he took on a charity swimming challenge to raise funds for Rainbows Children’s Hospice.

The Make A Splash fundraiser was organised in memory of Susan Taylor, who died while swimming the English Channel.

The event, which was organised by GEM 106, saw families and staff at the hospice swim 69 miles over a 24-hour period.

The event raised £23,000 for Rainbows.

Ryan took part in the event at the Rainbows’ hydrotherapy pool.

His mum Jayne said: “Ryan has always loved to swim, even though it has got harder for him, he will always do 20 lengths of a pool, no matter how long it takes him.

“Rainbows has been a fantastic place for us and for Ryan. He really enjoys going and has friends there who are in the same position as he is. He thinks the world of Rainbows and everyone there.

“No matter what Ryan does, he always gives 100 per cent.

“He never wants to let anyone down.

“I think the fact that he is disabled himself, but wants to raise money for Rainbows to help other children is amazing.”

Ryan was diagnosed with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy after his parents noticed he was falling over a lot and took him to the doctors.

“We were originally told Ryan wouldn’t live past the age of 20, but that has changed now with medical advances and now we don’t know what his prognosis will be,” said Jayne.

“Ryan is such a fighter. He is so determined and very thoughtful towards others.

“He always says he hopes they find a cure. He says he knows it is too late for him but he hopes they can do it for other people.”

The swimathon was held back in November, but the final fundraising total was only just confirmed last month.