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South Shields schoolgirl swimming five miles to raise money for Sunderland boy fighting rare condition

A 10 year old schoolgirl from South Shields is set to swim 5 miles throughout March to raise money for an inspirational Sunderland boy who is suffering from a rare form of muscular dystrophy.

Monday, 7th March 2022, 4:08 pm

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Will Calvert, nine, was diagnosed with the Duchenne form of Muscular Dystrophy, at the age of three, with the condition severely affecting the muscles in his legs, leaving Will requiring a wheelchair.

Will’s condition is beginning to deteriorate quickly and over the next five years will affect all muscles in his body, with doctors predicting he may not live longer than his 20’s.

In 2015, Will’s parents, Caroline and Robert Calvert started the ‘I’m in for Will’ family fund for Muscular Dystrophy UK, raising over £70,000 for the charity and more recently starting a wishlist for Will to live out his biggest dreams.

Will Calvert (left) and Stacey and Jessica Haslam

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After hearing about the wish list fund, South Shields youngster Jessica Haslam, 10, who attends St Matthews RC Primary School, was keen to get involved by swimming 5 miles throughout March.

Will’s mam, Caroline Calvert, 34, said: “We know realistically we don’t have a huge amount of time left with Will. While we’re still donating 80% of all funds raised to research, 20% of funds raised go towards doing this Will really wants to do and help with equipment he might need.”

“When I see people fundraising, especially people like Jessica who have heard Will’s story and don’t even know him, it’s so overwhelming and the support we’ve received since starting the fund in 2015 has been so amazing.”

Will Calvert, 9

Currently at the top of Will’s wishlist is swimming with dolphins and Jessica is determined to help Will reach that dream.

Jessica’s Mam, Stacey Haslam, 37, said: “It makes me extremely proud that Jessica wanted to do this. Will’s story is incredibly inspirational. He’s gone through a lot in his short life and so have his parents. They’ve done so much and it’s such a worthwhile cause.”

Will’s family are doing everything they can to raise money which funds research that could potentially save Will’s life. Donations to I’m in for Will can be made here, with 80% of money raised going towards research and 20% going to Will’s wishlist.

Donations for Jessica’s swim can be made here.

Stacey Haslam, 37, with her daughter Jessica, 10

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