A YORK dad has set out his stall for 2024 in a fresh bid to fundraise after his son was diagnosed with an extremely rare form of a life-limiting illness.

Sid Gornall, who lives in Holgate, has a set of epic challenges ahead of him in 2024.

Read next:

York Press: Sid Gornall is setting out his stall for fundraising in 2024Sid Gornall is setting out his stall for fundraising in 2024 (Image: Supplied)

As The Press has previously reported, his son Bill, who is now 12 and goes to Manor CE School, was diagnosed with mitochondrial disease MELAS in 2020, a rare disorder that begins in childhood and mostly affects the nervous system and muscles.

It is a degenerative condition affecting the mitochondria in your cells which provide 90 per cent of the energy for them to perform properly. If the mitochondria are unable to produce energy for the cell it dies and the organ the cell is supporting can fail.

Soon after diagnosis they were forwarded the details of The Lily Foundation, the UK's leading mitochondrial disease charity and the largest charitable funder of mitochondrial research in Europe and to date the family and their friends have raised tens of thousands of pounds for the charity.

York Press: Bill and Sid GornallBill and Sid Gornall (Image: Sid Gornall)

Sid, a project manager at events company Frame and Tailor, said this year holds a fresh set of challenges.

"I am signed up in a team of five - along with my manager, Dave Measom, Danny Adams and Tom Bissett who are all from York and John Marshall - another Mito dad from Lancaster, whose two-year-old daughter, Ruby, has MITO - to run The Snowdonia 24hr Ultra Challenge," he said.

"Our target is to scale Snowdon ten times in 24 hours which is the equivalent of scaling Everest. Inov8, who have just opened a shop in York are sponsoring us, and providing us with some free kit in which to undertake the challenge.

"I’m also signed up to run The Chicago Marathon in October for an American Mitochondrial charity and I’m just in the process of finalising arrangements for a 20 mile sponsored walk which includes 20 pubs.

"My target for fundraising this year is to reach £50,000 through my Just Giving page , which currently sits at £29,240. Our overall target from fundraising is £80,000 by the end of the year and the target overall is £100,000 by end of year five."

Last year Sid was recognised in the Community Pride Awards and named Charity Fundraiser of the Year for his work. 

York Press: Sid Gornall being presented the Charity Fundraiser of the Year award by Liam Hattee from Delta Hotels by MarriotSid Gornall being presented the Charity Fundraiser of the Year award by Liam Hattee from Delta Hotels by Marriot (Image: Simon Godley)

Speaking to The Press in 2023 Sid explained that Bill, was struggling to walk any distance and needed a wheelchair to get around. After fundraising for a powered wheelchair, he said Bill is now doing really well at school.

York Press: Bill Gornall in his new powered wheelchairBill Gornall in his new powered wheelchair (Image: Supplied)

"He is doing amazingly, he's not looked back since he started at Manor," said Sid.

"I think the chair was invaluable for him, because without it he wouldn't have been able to get from lesson to lesson.

"He's happy and we're not seeing any dramatic decrease in his health.

"As soon as he exerts energy we see his illness, but as long as he can manage that, he's ok."

To follow the family's story further go to their JustGiving page here and on Instagram @bills_mito_battle

York Press: Bill Gornall with the Community Pride AwardBill Gornall with the Community Pride Award (Image: Supplied)