A schoolboy whose body and brain are turning him into a pensioner with dementia is fighting back with a charity wrestling match,
Joshua Cullip has Niemann-Pick disease type C, a rare genetic disorder,often known as ‘childhood Alzheimer’s’.
Sufferers lose vital physical and mental skills, including muscle control and short term memory.
The life expectancy is low, with many sufferers failing to reach adulthood.
Only a few hundred people worldwide have the disease, but incredibly there has been three children diagnosed in Milton Keynes.
Joshua was an normal, active toddler. But with every year that has passed, the cruel condition has taken its toll, said his mum Jodie O’Grady.
“He was doing well at a mainstream school and getting good marks in everything. Then gradually his short term memory started fading and he was finding it more and more difficult. He forgets words and how to do sums,” she said.
““Physically he is declining too. His head drops onto his chest because his muscles are degenerating.”
Jodie made the decision to move Joshua to Redway special needs school - and already he is thriving.
“The love and compassion they showed changed Joshua to a very happy boy again. He is still losing skills, but now he can cope,” she said.
Joshua came up with the idea of raising funds for his school. Because he is crazy about anything to do with wrestling, Jodie came up with the idea of a charity wrestling match,
Organised with the help of APEX Pro, the event will be held at Jury’s Inn on January 28 at 2pm. There will be reptiles on show and also soft play.
The family of Joshua’s second cousin Alfie, who suffers a different type of Niemann Pick, are joining forces and their share of the proceeds will go towards research into the disease.
“Alfie and Joshua share similar genes and are both wrestling crazy,” said Jodie.
Entry to the wrestling event is £2 at the door. There will be reptiles on show, soft play, facepainting, sweets and popcorn.