John Chart, ex-firefighter and weightlifter, attempting feat in local gym
John Chart and his son Christopher
A group of people including ex-firefighter John Chart will be attempting to perform lunges for 24 hours in a gym in Ealing this month to raise awareness of Motor Neurone Disease (MND).
John, who served in the Fire Brigade for 26 years and also represented Great Britain at Powerlifting, winning several gold medals around the world, now suffers from the disease and has lost strength in his upper body as a result.
He can still do lunges and therefore his close friend Dean Ash from Eleve8 in Ealing has organised this endurance event. Previously they rode the length of the UK together from John O’Groats to Land’s End with the Pilgrim Bandits, receiving a host of support from celebrities such as Sarah Ferguson and Eddie Redmayne. Dean chose lunges as this particular feat has never been done before and will be one of the toughest challenges not yet attempted,
Lunge 4 MND takes place on Saturday 24 October aims to keep the momentum on raising awareness of MND, which John has already started and assist the efforts of people like Dodie Wear and Rob Burrow in explaining the impact of the disease to people.
John will be taking part in the challenge, alongside his son Chris and Nick Snaith of Magic FM and the Elev8 team.
When asked what his greatest achievement is, John will always say his children – his four boys and his daughter Gracie who tragically passed away in 2002.
Since being diagnosed with MND, he says the real support and strength comes from others who have been diagnosed with MND and have been proactive in raising awareness. Having a fatal condition that has been documented for around 150 years but still very little is known, comes with its own challenges.
Labelled as the 1,000 day disease with nearly everyone diagnosed losing their battle within 3 – 5 years of symptom on-set has made John even more determined to be one of the rare few that survives – there is only one person in the UK and 48 in the world that have been confirmed as surviving MND.
Being diagnosed with MND was a big challenge to overcome mentally for John, understanding that he was going to be fighting a fatal disease but as his journey progresses his biggest challenge yet will be the physical challenge. With his condition being limb onset, John’s symptoms are affecting the motor neurones that control important muscle activity, with his arms being the most affected. With this in mind there will be many alterations needed to ensure his quality of life for him and his family, which the money raised by Lunge 4 MND will go towards – alongside being donated to King’s College Motor Neurone Clinic.
The challenge will take place at Elev8 Fitness Studio and Gym, Ealing.
To donate please go to the event's GoFundMe page.
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October 15, 2020