THE parents of a boy with a life-limiting condition have made a New Year's resolution to go on more adventures as a family – while following the letters of the alphabet.

Karen and Alan Jessop, from Scorton, are adoptive parents to Joshua, 11, who lives with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD), a genetic disorder characterised by progressive muscle degeneration and weakness.

It is caused by an absence of dystrophin, a protein that helps keep muscle cells intact, and over time he will need to increasingly use a wheelchair.

Mrs Jessop said she came up with the idea of following the alphabet to try out a new place or activity this year, to continue to give Joshua lasting memories of adventures that are realistic to his needs.

Mrs Jessop, who has three other young adopted children at home as well as four grown up children, said the idea stemmed from the younger children learning their ABCs.

She said: "Having a child with a life limiting condition and also not knowing what lies ahead, it's important to make plans that are realistic, enjoyable and memorable whilst doing something we as a family love.

"This year we've decided to do an A to Z exploration travel challenge. This will be going through the alphabet and every two weeks find a place beginning with the next letter and just go there.

"By the end of the year we should have visited 26 new places."

Currently, Mrs Jessop said the only plans include their first trip to Ampleforth Abbey – but she has grand plans for a final trip.

"I thought that Z could be for zoo – but we want to take him to Central Park Zoo in New York at Christmas time.

"It will be such a wonderful experience for all of us as a family and will make for some wonderful lasting memories.

"I've already contacted the Harlem Globetrotters, an exhibition basketball team which combines sport with theatre, who will be playing at Maddison Square Gardens while we are there. They have offered us seats so that will be a fantastic experience."

Last month Joshua had an operation to try to correct his walking, but thankfully had his two leg casts off in time for Christmas.

Mrs Jessop said: "Joshua has been toe-walking for the last two years, so in an attempt to keep him walking longer and out of a wheelchair, he had quite major surgery to lengthen his Achilles and release tendons on both legs.

"He was in plaster for six weeks but had them off before Christmas and has been doing really well with his recovery, although he is having to learn to walk again so it is tough going."