Buckingham firefighters fitness challenge raises more than £2,000 for Cure CJD charity

A team based at Buckingham Fire Station took part in a fitness challenge at the Centre:MK to raise funds for The Cure CJD campaign
A team based at Buckingham Fire Station took part in a fitness challenge at the Centre:MK to raise funds for The Cure CJD campaign

A group of firefighters based at Buckingham Fire Station have raised more than £2,000 for The Cure CJD campaign.

The group of six took part in a continuous firefighters fitness challenge for 12 hours at The Centre:MK in Milton Keynes on Saturday May 5.

A team based at Buckingham Fire Station took part in a fitness challenge at the Centre:MK to raise funds for The Cure CJD campaign

A team based at Buckingham Fire Station took part in a fitness challenge at the Centre:MK to raise funds for The Cure CJD campaign

The group that pushed themselves through the pain barrier were Mike Downard, Scott Knowler, Gavin Gillings, Perry Fitzgerald, Jamie Robinson and Matt Jarvis.

Mike said afterwards: “The challenge is the hardest thing I’ve ever done but it went very well.

“Normally when we do the challenge it is outside and about six or seven degrees but on Saturday it was inside and about 27C!

“Firefighters across the country are expected to complete the test twice a year in 11 minutes and 11 seconds but we all did it 12 times in as many hours.”

Firefighters based at Buckingham fire station complete a fitness challenge in aid of The Cure CJD campaign

Firefighters based at Buckingham fire station complete a fitness challenge in aid of The Cure CJD campaign

The test is not straightforward and consists of the following steps:

> Carrying a 25kg bar 200 metres

> Putting on a breathing apparatus suit and dragging a hose reel 25 metres

> Dragging another hose reel 25 metres

Firefighters based at Buckingham fire station complete a fitness challenge in aid of The Cure CJD campaign

Firefighters based at Buckingham fire station complete a fitness challenge in aid of The Cure CJD campaign

> Picking up an eight stone dummy and dragging it 50 metres

> Running 200m

> Carrying two lengths of hose weighing 10kg each 100m

> Running both hoses out

The Buckingham fire station team before the start of their fitness challenge

The Buckingham fire station team before the start of their fitness challenge

> Running 50m

> Carrying two more lengths of hose 100m

> Running both hoses out

> Running 200 m to finish

The fitness challenge was the latest fundraising effort that crew members from Buckingham fire station had participated in.

A group from the station have previously taken part in an 80 mile kayak from Buckingham to Huntingdon.

The group defied expert predictions as they completed the kayak along the River Ouse in three days - having previously been told it was likely to take ten.

All these incredible fundraising efforts are to raise awareness and funds towards The Cure CJD Campaign.

This is because Julie Robinson, wife of Watch Commander John Robinson, who is based at Buckingham Fire Station, has been diagnosed with an incurable form of Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease.

John said: “It started in 2009 when Julie’s aunt was badly ill with the condition.

“Because it was a hereditary condition we were all advised to be tested for it.

“Julie’s mum had the condition and deteriorated before passing away in January 2016.

“Because she had a defective gene we were advised that there was a 50% chance of her children having it.

“Just before Julie’s mum died we found out that Julie had been diagnosed with breast cancer.

“One month after Julie was given the all clear from breast cancer we found out she had CJD.

“Julie was given up to five years to live and we are now 18 months in.

“She gets very tired and is not as active as she was previously.”

Although there have been various attempts to run clinical trials of potential treatments for CJD none have proved successful enough to be adopted widely across the board.

John said: “We do not believe that a trial will be completed and a drug produced in time to save Julie.

“We are just focused on raising awareness and funds towards the campaign to raise money for trials of potential treatments.

“It is a big fight to get to the human trial stage and about £100,000 is needed to fund just this.”

John and Julie did receive some good news recently as they found out their children had been given the all-clear.

John said: “That was a big relief.”

Buckingham firefighters started off in November 2016 aiming to raise £50,000 for The Cure CJD campaign and at the time of writing had raised £44,320.

In total the whole nationwide campaign has raised more than £202,000.