Walk this weekend to help Big Jack

A sponsored walk has been organised to raise cash for supersized tot Jack Ives.
A sponsored walk has been organised to raise cash for supersized tot Jack Ives.

A SPONSORED walk has been organised this weekend to raise money to fly supersized tot Jack Ives to America for what is hoped could be life-changing treatment.

The five-year-old Swinton youngster suffers from a rare condition that has made him grow to double the size he should be.

His parents Hayley and Darren are now trying to raise money to fly him across the Atlantic to see US specialists who may be able to give advanced treatments.

Since the South Yorkshire Times exclusively revealed the story, the family has been flooded with publicity and donations from well-wishers.

They are now encouraging people to join them on a sponsored walk on Sunday, May 22, starting at noon at the Gate Inn at Swinton and ending at the Pastures Lodge in Mexborough.

Hayley said: “We have been overwhelmed with the generosity that people have shown us, it has been just amazing.

“We are hoping to have Jack on the walk, so it will be a chance for people who have read about him to meet him.

“Everyone can come and we want everyone to have a good time while raising money at the same time.”

Young Jack suffers from Beckwith Wiedemann Syndrome, a rare disease which affects only 64 people in the UK, and makes him grow at a faster rate than normal.

He is currently 4ft 2ins tall – roughly the size of an average 10-year-old – and his parents said he could grow to more than 7ft tall.

Jack has already undergone 15 operations, including three tongue shortening surgeries.

He was also born with one leg shorter than the other, often has to use a wheelchair, and has had a tracheostomy fitted – tubing in his neck to help him breathe. His condition means he is also at high risk of tumours.

His parents are hoping to raise around £2,500 to fly him to Denver, Colorado, in July to attend the bi-annual Beckwith Wiedemann Conference.

They have so far raised about £500 through public donations after launching their fundraising appeal in the South Yorkshire Times.