A FORRES man is taking part in the Great Aberdeen Run to raise awareness of his baby’s rare condition.
Robbie Woods (28), and his wife Kelly (24), from Riddoch Gardens were devastated when Reo was born last November with Poland syndrome, a rare defect characterised by the absence of the chest muscle on one side his body.
The couple were shocked by how little medical information or expertise was available to them. They were also surprised that only one small family–run charity, PIP UK, was working to broaden awareness of the programme.
Kelly said: “We had never heard of Poland syndrome. Apart from being born without a chest muscle, Reo also has one hand and arm which is smaller than the other. There’s also possible other related issues which we won’t know about until he gets MRI scans and X–rays when he is older ... they are not sure that his liver and kidneys are in the right place either.
“I struggled with all of this at the beginning but we now want to do what we can so that anyone else who has a baby with this condition won’t find it so daunting.”
Robbie has signed up for the fundraising half marathon on August 27.
He said: “I’m doing it for Reo and for other families in the position we are in. That’s all the motivation I need.”
Robbie and Kelly are still coming to terms with the issue but are committed to moving forward in a positive way.
Robbie said: “The birth was traumatic for Kelly as she had an emergency section, then we were told about Reo’s condition which was devastating.
“Italy is the leading country for research into Poland syndrome so PIP is keen to find a way of sharing the expertise developed there with people in this country.
“We want to do as much as we can to raise awareness and help with more research into it.”
Robbie has been training for three months ago and sometimes manages four runs-a-week.
He said: “My longest so far has been 7.5 miles but I’ll be building up to 13.
“Though I’ve always lived in Forres, I’ve been discovering little roads and paths which I never knew existed before I took up running.”
“I’m getting ready for the race because of Reo which makes training easier.”
Sponsor Robbie at https://mydonate.bt.com/fundraisers/robbiewoods1