ARMY veteran Murray Hambro has raised more than £5,000 for the local charity Taylor Made Dreams after completing a fitness challenge in memory of his late son, Louis.
Murray, who grew up in Crowborough, lost his legs serving as a Lance Corporal with the Second Royal Tank Regiment in Afghanistan in 2010.
His son passed away in July at the age of two after suffering from Complex 1 Mitochondrial Disorder, an energy deficiency condition where his body could not process food into energy to do simple functions, such as talk or swallow.
Taylor Made Dreams, which is also based in Crowborough, supported the family during the last few weeks of Louis’s life.
The charity enables children with life-limiting illnesses to achieve their dreams, and financially supports holistic therapy and counselling.
Murray teamed up with Louis’s mother, Hannah, his fitness coach Barnaby Gehlcken and around 60 friends to take part in a marathon fitness session at Reebok CrossFit Connect Gym in Hove.
The challenge involved doing repetitions based around the dates of Louis’s birth and death.
Murray said: “We wanted it to be ‘gassy’. The idea was that the people taking part would experience the lack of energy that Louis felt with the Mitochondrial Disorder.”
An example of the challenge was: Two rounds of 21 burpees, 500m sprint, 15 pull-ups, one minute rest (silence for loved ones), then two rounds of 17 wall balls, 7 sit-ups to stand up and 17 press-ups.
Taylor Made Dreams was set up by Suzi Mitchell after her son Taylor died in 2011 at the age of 15.
Murray added: “My sister knew about the work of Taylor Made Dreams, and they were so good to us in the short time we had with Louis.
“Louis was too young to have a list of things he wanted to do, it was just daytime experiences for him. But they gave us tickets to London Zoo and also donated comfort items around the house.
“Other organisations have massive financial support and media backing, but we wanted to help a smaller charity to do their work.”
Murray, who has a four-year-old son, Harley, is working at developing adaptive fitness strategies for people with disabilities, and has set up a company called True Grit with Barnaby Gehlcken, who runs the Hove gym where Murray trains.
“I like to keep myself busy, I live to immerse myself in different challenges,” said Murray. “Adaptive fitness is massive in the States, but we are about five years behind in this country.”
He is now training in a bid to take part in the Wodapalooza Fitness Festival in Miami next year – ‘the next step down from the Cross-Fit Games’.
Taylor Made Dreams’ Suzi Mitchell said: “Louis’s parents are such an inspiration. We are so proud of them and are deeply grateful for their support.
“The family have shown amazing strength and even in the darkest of times have thought of others by holding a memorial fundraising event which will go on to help other children with illness.”
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For more -information on Taylor Made Dreams, visit www.taylormadedreams.net
‘The idea was that the people taking part would experience the lack of energy that Louis felt’