Video: Rob Jones raises £1.5k by 'rowing channel' ... in Stoke
DETERMINED Rob Jones rowed the equivalent of the English Channel to help others with the same muscle wasting condition.
The 48-year-old raised more than £1,500 for charity after 'travelling' 20.3 miles in two hours and 54 minutes on a rowing machine at Michelin Athletic Club, in Stoke, yesterday.
Rob, from Stockton Brook, was diagnosed with muscular dystrophy a decade ago and the money he has collected will go to the Muscular Dystrophy Campaign.
Rob, of Stanley Road, said: "I used to do a lot of sport, football, golf and squash in the late 1990s until I realised I was getting weaker and couldn't understand why.
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"I had muscle weakness and had to stop playing so I went for some tests and that's when I was diagnosed.
"Now I'm determined to help other people like me."
Rob underwent numerous tests and biopsies and was eventually told he had Limb-girdle muscular dystrophy 2L, for which there is no cure and the disease worsens over time.
Rob added: "Limb-girdle only affects the arms and legs and life expectancy doesn't change, unlike other types of the disease. So I did some research to find out about kids with more serious versions.
"When I got a diagnosis the doctors told me that exercise would slow down the muscle wastage but because I can't run, I started to row and now train at the gym four times a week.
"I thought that while I am still fit enough to do something I would raise money towards research."
Rob set himself a £1,000 target and has already smashed it to reach £1,552. He prepared for the day with homemade oatcakes and a full English breakfast.
He said: "Everyone has been very supportive. I think some people must think I'm silly, but I am not affected so much on the rowing machine.
"I cannot run and if it snows I have to have a walking stick. I have rails around the house and have to plan every journey meticulously.
"The money I have raised, could fund that one extra day or extra test that might be the thing that finds a cure and that's what motivates me."
Rob was supported during the fund-raiser by his partner Alison Toft, aged 49. She said: "I am very proud of him. I was surprised at how quickly he did it. I was bit was apprehensive, but I am really pleased that he finished."
Charlotte Allen, volunteer fund-raising manager for Muscular Dystrophy Campaign, said: "We are immensely grateful to Rob, for taking on a tremendous challenge with his condition and without people like him we could not continue our vital work, funding treatments and ultimately cures, for muscle wasting disease. We really hope that the people of Stoke-on-Trent get behind him and the campaign."
More than 70,000 children and adults in the UK have muscular dystrophy.
To Sponsor Rob visit www.justgiving.com/robjones2013