SATURDAY 24th October will see a team of people committed to raising awareness of Motor Neurone Disease (MND) by lunging for 24 hours.
Orchestrated by Elev8 fitness, Lunge 4 MND aims to shine a light on this rare condition whilst raising money for John Chart, an ex-London Firefighter who served for over 26 years and represented the brigade and Great Britain in Powerlifting, winning several gold medals around the world. Lunge 4 MND was set up by a close friend of John’s, Dean Ash from Elev8, after taking part in a previous fundraising event to raise awareness and funds in August 2020 with John, where they rode the length of the UK 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. Lunge 4 MND aims to keep the momentum on raising awareness of MND, which John has already started.
Ash chose lunges as it’s never been done before and will be one of the toughest challenges
not yet attempted, whilst focused on lower body movement since John has already lost a
lot of strength and ability in his arms. John will be taking part in the challenge, alongside
his son Chris and Nick Snaith of Magic FM and the Elev8 team.
A born fighter
John Chart is a natural-born fighter, determined to always achieve what he sets his mind to. 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. Followed by becoming a Firefighter and winning five gold medals as a British Powerlifter, John passionately believes in community and has always been a pillar of strength. Since being diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease, 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 onset 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.
Challenge after challenge
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: https://uk.gofundme.com/f/22qvdcw6g0