NINETEEN people have already raised more than £14,000 ahead of their skydive later this month in support of a four-year-old from Poole.

Luca Fernandes, who lives with mum, Joanne, 36, and dad, Pedro, 37, who live in Parkstone, was diagnosed with muscle wasting condition Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy in November 2013.

Dad, Pedro, says that the news hit the couple ‘like a brick’, but are grateful for all the support they have received, including their friends who have signed to take the 10,000ft plunge on February 28.

Pedro said: “I got in touch with the Muscular Dystrophy Campaign and asked them what we could do to help and they told us about the Make Today Count event.

He added: “The show of support that people have offered us has been fantastic and the response has been incredible.

Pedro says that initially he wanted to raise the £399 needed to cover the cost of the jump, but the amount they have raised, which is still building up, means that they have made 100-per-cent over the amount to fund 19 people to jump.

“The thing is, Luca is only young at the moment, so he doesn’t understand what’s going on. He jumps around and goes swimming for exercise, and he’s just like any other four-year-old. He’s a cheeky little kid.

“But when we found out the results of the biopsy last year, it was really bad. Of course all dads want their son to grow up to be a footballer or an F1 driver and we have to except that he will never do that. It really took the wind from underneath my wings, but we just have to keep positive and keep going."

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