A man from Hemel Hempstead, who was told he would be lucky to live past the age of 20, celebrated his 24th birthday with a 24-hour fundraiser.
Aged eight, Jed Thirkettle was diagnosed with Ullrich congenital muscular dystrophy. Doctors told him he would be in a wheelchair and on a ventilator by age 14, and would be lucky to live past 20.
On November 4, Jed celebrated his 24th birthday with a sponsored 24-hour workout at Buzz Gym on Cannon Street. At the time of writing, he has raised more than £9,300 for Muscular Dystrophy UK, as part of his charity Team Jed.
Speaking to HEMELnews, Jed said: “I want to continue this mission and grow the team, all with the same end goal in mind – a treatment or cure for muscular dystrophy so others can lead a life free from physical limitations.
“Team Jed is not about being the strongest, fastest or biggest person in the room. It’s about a collective of individuals who have overcome the hardest challenges in life with a smile on their face.”
Since starting Team Jed, he has raised more than £250,000 for Muscular Dystrophy UK, and he continues to prove to everyone that you can be more than your diagnosis.
Jed has spent the last few months training, working with Foundry Gym, and following a strict diet regime to prepare himself for the all-day workout, which included eight three-hour blocks of weightlifting, cardio and rest.
Jed’s 24-hour charity fitness challenge has received support from football coach and former professional player Jack Wilshere, and president of Muscular Dystrophy UK and TV presenter Gabby Logan MBE.
Jed said: “What’s been heartwarming, is that we set out with an understanding of securing two or three donations from larger companies and sponsors. But seeing how much money individuals are putting in is so touching.”
The 24-hour event took place from 10am on Saturday, November 4. Updates on Jed’s progress to follow.
To read more about Jed’s journey and to donate, please visit justgiving.com/page/jedthirkettle
Photo credit: Team Jed