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Gravesend gym sets weightlifting world record to raise money for Chatham baby Leo Andrews born with extremely rare genetic condition


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A gym has set a never before attempted weightlifting record to raise money to help treat a baby born with an extremely rare genetic condition.

Various members of Reps and Sets Gym in Gravesend lifted 100 tonnes between them in less than 16 minutes to achieve the feat.

Reps and Sets Gym sets a new world record to raise money for baby Leo

The 10 weightlifting champions involved in the "Lifting for Leo" challenge earlier today raised more than £800 for baby Leo Andrews, from Chatham, who was born with a rare genetic condition.

It affects less than 20 people worldwide and means he cannot move his arms and legs.

His mother Lucinda hopes that with the money raised, they can fund research into possible treatment in the US.

Gym owner Sean Kennedy said: "We set up three exercises: squat, deadlift and bench. They are the three main compound movements that a bodybuilder or strongman does.

"Literally a team of 10 people and we went round, 10 reps, 10 reps, 10 reps, until we lifted 100 tonne."

World champion weightlifters joined together to help boost the fundraising campaign which has seen more than £10,000 already pledged online to Lucinda and Leo's cause.

Leo Andrews was born with an incredibly rare condition. Picture: Lucinda Andrews
Leo Andrews was born with an incredibly rare condition. Picture: Lucinda Andrews

British strongman Terry Hollands from Dartford, was among those who got involved after hearing about the seven-month-old tot.

He said: "I'm pretty tired after that to be honest, it was very fast paced. We did talk about it before and thought maybe we could do it in 30 minutes.

"We really went for it and we managed to half that so we are really pleased with that and it's such a great cause, I'm so pleased to be part of it."

Terry hopes more people can get behind the campaign and consider pledging their support.

It comes after Leo's mum Lucinda turned to the community to help raise awareness and support after hearing of potentially life-changing research into her son's condition in the US.

The 32-year-old gave birth to little Leo on March 7 at Medway Maritime Hospital and was unaware anything was wrong initially.

Leo Andrews was born with an incredibly rare condition. Picture: Lucinda Andrews
Leo Andrews was born with an incredibly rare condition. Picture: Lucinda Andrews

The Chatham resident - who had lived in Canada for five years before moving back to Kent this year - was told it could just be shock that meant her baby could not move.

But after six hours, his condition had not improved so he was transferred to intensive care before being taken to St Thomas' Hospital in London on March 11.

After running tests, medics discovered Leo has an extremely rare genetic disorder which affects the TBCD gene.

With his local GPs and leading specialists in London unable to treat him, mum Lucinda sent hundreds of emails and messages across the world in the hope someone could help.

That's when she received word from a US-based corporation which facilitates breakthrough drug discoveries for rare diseases and who may be able to find treatment for Leo.

With renewed hope she set up a JustGiving page to give her son a "fighting chance" and has now received a helping hand from the local community.

She said: "I literally cannot put into words how much it means to have this support, to raise awareness for Leo and the TBCD gene.

"I feel like the word thank you has lost its meaning. There's nothing I can say to put it into words how much this actually means to my family.

"I really appreciate all the boys that got involved today to break the world record and hopefully we can go ahead now with everything."

To donate to the JustGiving page click here.

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