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  • Durham OnAir

Spennymoor boy takes on world’s fastest zipline to fundraise for brother with muscular dystrophy

William Jackson from Spennymoor, County Durham, is strapping into the world’s fastest and Europe’s longest zipline with his cousin, Jennifer, on 12 April.

He hopes to raise money for people living with Becker muscular dystrophy, like his younger brother, Louis.

William’s younger brother lives with the condition which causes progressive muscle wasting and weakness. Over time, it can cause severe disability and it can be life-threatening in some cases.

The zipline is sure to be a hair-raising experience at 1,555m long with top speeds reaching over 100mph. The family will be going to Snowdonia in Wales on 12 April to cheer William on.

“William loves his brother and he’s always wanted to do his own fundraiser. He even has a huge list of ideas from visiting every football stadium to running a marathon in a week. He has done an indoor skydive with me before and he has been desperate to do the zipline but he wasn’t old enough until recently. William and his cousin jumped at the chance to do the zipline as a fundraiser when the opportunity arose,” said his mum, Sarah Jackson.

William was 7 years old when Louis was diagnosed with the condition. Although he was young himself, William had to adapt very quickly and help where he was needed.

“William has had to grow up very quickly. When Louis was diagnosed, we had just had our newborn daughter and Louis was only three. William had to take a lot of responsibility to help us all cope. We depended on him to help where he was needed and do what he was told. We’re so proud of him and he’s grown into a brilliant person. I’m so pleased he’s got this moment to shine and show how amazing he is,” said Sarah.

“He is scared of heights but he claims not to be nervous at all.”

William’s parents and grandparents will be there on the day to watch him complete his challenge.

His fundraiser has raised £500 for Muscular Dystrophy UK and those living with Becker muscular dystrophy so far.

“He hopes is money will help find a cure for Becker muscular dystrophy and would like the money to go towards equipment to help people living with the condition.”

“For a long time, William wanted to be a geneticist so he could find a cure for Louis. We even had a tour of the muscle genetic department at the Center for Life in Newcastle! He’s now veering more towards being a sports journalist but I think he’ll use whatever platform he has to advocate for awareness,” said Sarah.

Susanne Driffield, Regional Development Manager-North of England & East Midlands from Muscular Dystrophy UK said: “William is a brilliant big brother and I know he has wanted to get involve in a fundraiser for a while now, he is absolutely going for it, riding the fastest zip line in the world!”

You can donate to the family fund here.


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