James’ mountain challenge for brother Jack

Jack Johnson, mum Alex and little brother James. Photo courtesy of Michelle Charnock www.michellecharnockphotographer.co.uk
Jack Johnson, mum Alex and little brother James. Photo courtesy of Michelle Charnock www.michellecharnockphotographer.co.uk
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THE little brother of Jack Johnson, the inspiration behind the Joining Jack charity, will join a number of youngsters in climbing one of the Yorkshire three peaks this weekend.

Little James, who is just three, will follow in the footsteps of the 88 adults who scaled the mountain last week when he takes on the challenge of conquering Pen-y-ghent today.

Very little is often mentioned about the impact Duchenne has on siblings. Jack and James are best friends.

Alex Johnson

Of course, he will also be raising money for Joining Jack, the charity set up by his parents Andy and Alex to fund research into Duchenne muscular dystrophy, the fatal condition from which Jack suffers.

James formed the welcoming party for the charity’s three peak challenge last week, helping present those who completed it with certificates.

And Alex says that it was they who inspired him to take part in this Saturday’s “Kiddie Climb”.

She said: “On Saturday he came with me to watch the Yorkshire three peaks walkers arrive back at base.

“After watching their incredible efforts and hearing everyone talking about next week’s Kiddie climb he has decided he wants to take part to try and help make his brother’s poorly muscles better.

“Very little is often mentioned about the impact Duchenne has on siblings. Jack and James are best friends. Their bond and love for each other is unquestionable. Jack has recently spent a lot of time in hospital and every time Jack leaves home James cries his eyes out because he hates being apart from Jack.

“Every night he looks at me questioning why Jack gets carried upstairs to bed and why he has to climb up by himself.

“He gets frustrated when his seven-year-old brother gets to use the pram and he has to walk. He sadly at the tender age of three is beginning to understand what Duchenne means for his brother. On a night he tries to massage and stretch his brother’s legs.”

Joining Jack is currently making huge strides into the research for Duchenne muscular dystrophy.

And as James joins the many other little ones taking part this weekend, more money will be raised for such a worthy cause. Alex added: “If you can support him in what is a humongous challenge for a three year old I know both Jack and James would be extremely grateful.

“Duchenne research is progressing at a phenomenal rate and with your help we believe we can get the first effective treatment to help improve the lives of this generation living with Duchenne.”

As well as Joining Jack, money will be raised for the Rose Blossom Trust, inspired by twins Evie and Darcie Dravet,

As with last week’s Yorkshire three peaks challenge, in which more than £20,000 was raised, the Kiddie Climb is being organised by Rob Medway.

Explaining the idea behind it, he said: “Last year, following the success of a Yorkshire Three Peaks Challenge, I decided to organize a climbing event that kids could get involved in.

“Three years prior to this we had taken our grandchildren (aged three and five) for a walk up Mount Snowdon, only expecting to get half way. They surprised us by insisting on going further and we finally reached the summit; adults more exhausted than the kids!

“It was their grit and determination that made me realise that kids as young as three can take on such challenges.

“On the first JJY3P event in 2013, a lovely group of ladies asked if they could join us on the challenge to raise funds for The Rose Blossom Trust (Dravet Syndrome).

“At the end of the challenge, twins, Darcie and Evie Chapman were waiting to greet their weary mother and her friends on the homeward stretch. As with Jack Johnson, on meeting Darcy and Evie you cannot but admire their cheerfulness despite their many debilitating health issues; you cannot fail to fall in love with them.”

People can still sponsor James for the event at www.justgiving.com/jacksbrother.