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Rugby Players Set To Scale Great Heights For Teddy

The Ward family have a massive personal mountain to climb – Jess and Dan’s son, Teddy, aged just 22 months, has been diagnosed with the life-limiting condition called mitochondrial disease.

Now Isle of Wight Rugby Club player and physio Dan has enlisted his clubmates to take on the Three Peaks Challenge to raise money for research into the disease.

In September, they will attempt to conquer Scafell Pike, Ben Nevis and Snowdon and have set themselves an initial target of raising £10,000 for the Lily Foundation, a charity dedicated to funding vital research to find a cure and support families of children with mitochondrial disease.

Dan Ward said:

“At 11am on January 24, we were told Teddy has the life-limiting mitochondrial disease, and an extremely rare defected gene (DNAJC19).

“This defected gene causes something called dilated cardiomyopathy, which is the degeneration of Teddy's heart.

“To the doctors’ knowledge, Teddy is one of only 55 children in the world to carry this, and the only known case in the UK, so we have limited research and unfortunately no cure.

“Please help The Lily Foundation in any way you can to keep fighting the most cruel of diseases, and we will carry on making sure that our Mito-Bear Teddy continues to thrive, be the happiest little boy, and live the best of lives.”

As well as Dan, the IW Rugby Club Rangers who have signed up to take on the challenge are brothers Luke and Dave Blackman, James Bradshaw, George Huish, Claire Mumford, Michael Joyce, Nick Blyth, Kieran Leahy and Sam McQueen.

The club is also raising funds to give the Ward family the chance to make memories with Teddy and is holding a race night at its Wootton HQ on July 19.

Dan added:

"It is at times like this you find out who your friends are, and the love and support we have had not only from our rugby family, but the whole island community has been so heartening."

Wightlink have supplied transport support to the appeal and commercial director Phil Delaney said:

“Stories like this are truly heart-wrenching and we are happy to be able to support the Ward family.”

The link to the just giving page for Team Teddy is https://www.justgiving.com/team/rangerstakeonthe3peaks

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