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Sheppey: Dad to cycle more than 200 miles to raise awareness of rare genetic disorder which affects his son

By Chloe Holmwood

A father-of-two is getting ready to cover more than 200 miles this summer to raise awareness of the rare genetic disorder which affects his son.

Four-year-old Joseph Stock, a reception class pupil at Halfway Houses Primary School, was diagnosed with XXYY syndrome in May last year, which is a result of having more chromosomes in the body than you are due to have. It affects one in every 17,000 boys who are born.

Now, his dad Darren, 29, is doing his bit by taking part in a cycle challenge for the XXYY Project.

Darren Stock with his son Joseph, four, who has XXYY syndrome
Darren Stock with his son Joseph, four, who has XXYY syndrome

Darren, who grew up on the Island but now lives in Tovil, Maidstone, said: "Joseph's a happy little boy in himself but he has communication difficulties for his age. This is one of the effects of XXYY.

"Other issues that accompany this condition are a lack of testosterone, behavioural issues and the probable likelihood that he will never be able to have children of his own."

The former Minster College pupil, who works for Kent Police as a disclosure risk assessor, added: "As this is such a rare condition, one which a lot of UK medical professionals haven't even heard of, Joseph's future is uncertain.

"He may have to be pulled out of mainstream school, will potentially have to have testosterone injections to get him through puberty and may not be able to live an independent adult life.

"The purpose of raising money and awareness of this condition is so research can be carried out, and to fund US medical professionals, who have more knowledge of the condition, to come over to the UK."

Darren with both of his sons, Jacob, eight, and Joey, four.
Darren with both of his sons, Jacob, eight, and Joey, four.

As well as raising money for the XXYY Project, Darren will also be fundraising for Cancer Research UK and the British Heart Foundation.

He said: "Various family members of mine have suffered with cancer and I have completed a charity attempt before for the British Heart Foundation, so they're also important to me."

The cycle challenge will take place from Wednesday, August 15 to Friday, August 17.

Darren and his friend Leigh French are planning to ride to 10 football grounds in Kent over the three days, covering over 200 miles.

The clubs they will ride to are Tonbridge Angels, Ebbsfleet, Dartford, Gillingham, Maidstone, Folkestone, Dover, Margate, Faversham and Sheppey’s Holm Park.

So far Darren has raised over £400 of his £1,000 target.

To support him, click here.

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