A LITTLE boy who is larger than life is inspiring family and friends to take the plunge in a skydive to raise funds for research into the fatal condition he suffers from.

Four-year-old Ryan Chidzey, of Gainford, was diagnosed with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD), in January.

DMD is the most common fatal genetic disorder to affect children around the world and affects mainly boys who cannot produce dystrophin - an essential protein the body needs to build up muscles. As a result, every muscle in the body deteriorates gradually.

Most children with the condition die in their late teens or early twenties and sufferers usually need to use a wheelchair by the age of 12.

His family has vowed to raise £50,000 for the charity Muscular Dystrophy UK in a bid to find a cure before it is too late.

And approaching the first anniversary of his diagnosis, they have now raised more than £28,000 for the cause with several fundraisers.

But they have set their sights higher with the latest fundraiser which will see Ryan’s aunty, Emma Kayacan, uncle Dave Clay and family friends Colleen Tray and Jill Tolley take on the challenge.

Ryan’s mum, Claire Chidzey, said her son is just like any other four-year-old and continues to amaze the whole family with his can-do attitude.

She said: “To look at him you would not think anything was wrong with him because he’s full of life and can hold his own – we call him our little Rocky.

“He has started playing football at school, but he knows when he has to sit down. You just have to let him be a little boy.”

Mrs Chidzey said she and her husband, Cieran, were both amazed by how much had been raised for the charity and commended the team for braving the upcoming challenge next March.

Mrs Kayacan said she was “petrified” but mother and daughter duo, Mrs Tray and Mrs Tolley, said they were both looking forward to the experience.

The group will also be joined by Stuart Murray, regional development manager for the North East and Cumbria at the Muscular Dystrophy UK charity.

Mr Murray said: “Particular in the last five to ten years research has progressed and even in the last 18 months, some of the treatments available are showing promise."

“A boy with Duchenne 20 years might have struggled to get to his 20s but now we are seeing boys live into their 30s.”

For more information or to donate search for Our fight for Ryan on Facebook and at justgiving.com