Bellshill youngster Kyle Keeney’s will have a wish come true next year as his family continue to wish for a cure for muscular dystrophy.
In January Kyle (4) was diagnosed with the muscle wasting disease Duchenne muscular dystrophy which could leave him confined to a wheelchair before he reaches his teens.
In February his parents Kevin and Jenna set up ‘Kyle’s Fund’ with the target of raising £6,000 for the Muscular Dystrophy Campaign’s Duchenne Research Breakthrough fund to help contribute to the search for a cure or effective treatment.
Calling themselves ‘Team Kyle’ the fundraisers kicked off their fundraising with a sponsored walk at Strathclyde Park and since have organised lots of events for the cause.
These have included running the Edinburgh Marathon, tackling Tough Mudder and bungee jumping off the Titan Crane in Clydebank.
Far surpassing the £6,000 they hoped for Kyle’s Fund has so far raised £16,666, all of which has been sent to the Duchenne Research Breakthrough fund.
Kevin said: “When we started fundraising we didn’t know how much we could raise, but the support we have received has been incredible.
“We had a set a target of £6,000, and in my wildest dreams I hoped that maybe we might reach £10,000, so to now be at nearly £17,000 is amazing and we can’t thank everyone enough.
“It’s hard to believe that the first fundraising event only took place in April and we have managed to reach such a terrific amount already.”
The latest event, the bungee jump, saw 13 hardy souls jump into the great unknown and Kevin says the fundraising is far from done.
He said: “We certainly had a great day for the bungee jump and a terrific turnout.
“It was a little nerve-wracking being up there ready to jump off, but it was good fun and it is something I might consider doing again.
“We are now organising a bike ride from London to Paris in March.
“We are doing it along with a family from Coalburn whose son suffers from the same condition as Kyle.
“I reckon getting from London to Paris will take five days and I will need to get into training soon.
“I have not worried about my legs being able to cope with the distance.
“But I can’t say I’m looking forward to being in the saddle all that way.”
Kyle has started new medication in order to try to slow down the progression of his muscular dystrophy.
He is set to start school next summer, but before that is going to have a ‘wish’ granted’.
Kevin said: “Kyle is doing well at the moment, he has just started a course of steroids so hopefully that will help to hold back the onset of the condition.
“He attends Bumble Bee Nursery and they have been a big, big part of the fundraising campaign so we really do want to thank them.
“We have just learned that our application to the Make a Wish Foundation has been successful.
“Next June the whole family will be off on a trip to Disneyland in Florida, all expenses paid, after Kyle had his wish granted by the foundation.
“I am sure it will be a great experience for us all and provide loads of memories - Bumble Bee are even giving us some spending money.
“However, our real wish is that a cure can be found for Duchenne muscular dystrophy in the near future.
“Until there is we will do all we can and continue to fundraise to help the campaign continue to move forward in their search for one.”
Muscular Dystrophy Campaign’s volunteer fundraising manager for Scotland Natalie Macaulay is thrilled by the amount raised.
She said: “Kevin and Jenna are very passionate about the cause and Team Kyle have done every possible thing to raise money for it.
“They are an amazing group of people who are doing everything in their power to help find a cure.”
For more information about Kyle’s story or to make a contribution visit www.muscular-dystrophy.org/get_involved/family_funds/6500_kyles-fund.