Jeans boost Suffolk youngster

PARENTS of a boy with a terminal muscle wasting disorder have today thanked his school friends for ditching school uniform on Jeans for Genes Day.Pupils at Bramford Primary School, Claydon High School and Gusford Primary School, Ipswich, took part in the annual fundraiser where volunteers wear jeans to raise cash for charities supporting people with muscle disorders.

PARENTS of a boy with a terminal muscle wasting disorder have today thanked his school friends for ditching school uniform on Jeans for Genes Day.

Pupils at Bramford Primary School, Claydon High School and Gusford Primary School, Ipswich, took part in the annual fundraiser where volunteers wear jeans to raise cash for charities supporting people with muscle disorders.

And Bramford 10-year-old Ben Dack, who suffers from muscular dystrophy, was among the youngsters happy to swap his uniform for denim.

Ben's parents Tony and Beverley Dack, of St Mary's Close, have been fundraising for muscular disorder charities since 1997.

Mrs Dack got the support of Gusford Primary School as she works there as a teaching assistant and when Ben moves to high school he will go to Claydon.

Mr Dack said: "Jeans for Genes is a great idea for everyone but especially children as it gives them a way to understand what can be very complicated disorders.

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"The children are paying a minimum donation of 20p for the privilege.

"Ben gets on very well at school and everyone there bends over backwards to help us as a family – we are very grateful."

Ben was diagnosed with Duchenne muscular dystrophy in 1996. Tragically there is no cure for the disorder.

Victims are usually forced to use a wheelchair from an early age and have a life expectancy of late teens to early 20s but Ben is defying the odds.

Mr Dack said: "We are lucky as Ben is coping very well. He's still walking and is quite mobile.

"The experts we visit at Hammersmith Hospital in London each year are thrilled with him."

John Eden, headteacher at Bramford Primary School, said: "The school was happy to get involved with Jeans for Genes Day.

"Because of Ben it is very relevant to our school and is a good way of getting the fundraising message across."

Jeans for Genes was supported by thousands of people in the UK yesterday . The event, now in its eighth year, raises money for eight charities.

Do you have a fundraising event to publicise, contact the Evening Star on 01473-324788 or e-mail starnews@eveningstar.co.uk

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