Bromley Man Runs 100km Ultramarathon to Raise Funds for Nephew with SMA

17 Apr 2024

Bromley Man Runs 100km Ultramarathon to Support Nephew with Rare Genetic Disorder

Dean Cooke, a Bromley resident, is running a 100km Ultramarathon to raise funds for his nephew, Sidney Cooke, diagnosed with type one spinal muscular atrophy (SMA).

Raising Funds for SMA Treatment and Equipment

Sidney Cooke, aged three, from Yalding, Kent, was diagnosed with type one spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) four months after birth. SMA is a rare genetic disorder that affects muscle strength and movement. Sidney received the groundbreaking gene therapy, Zolgensma, costing £1.8 million, which has significantly improved survival rates for children with SMA. Despite this, ongoing treatments and specialized equipment are crucial for his development and quality of life, and these are often not available through the NHS.

Dean Cooke's Ultramarathon Challenge

Dean Cooke, 37, an emergency gas engineer, will undertake the 100km ultramarathon from Richmond to Brighton on May 25. Dean, who regularly runs 60 to 80 miles a month, has been preparing since January, with his longest training run reaching 45 miles. He aims to complete the ultramarathon in daylight hours.

Dean shared, “I’ve run marathons in the past, but running 100km in one go is a different matter. Sid’s parents have to raise money constantly – I’m glad to be able to do something to help.”

The Ongoing Need for Fundraising

Sidney’s mother, Sophie Cooke, 35, emphasizes the continuous need for fundraising. “Every piece of equipment typically costs thousands, even if we buy it second hand. Sidney is growing, and his needs are always changing. Currently, we are fundraising for house adaptations, including a through-floor lift and an adapted bathroom, estimated to cost around £40,000.”

“So far, we have raised more than £14,000 for therapy and equipment. We couldn’t have done this without the support of our friends, family, and supporters,” Sophie added.

Supporting Sidney Through Tree of Hope

Sidney’s family is supported by Tree of Hope, a children’s charity that helps families fundraise for children with healthcare needs. Tree of Hope CEO Becky Andrew commented, “We’re pleased to hear that Sidney is progressing well and wish Dean all the best with the ultramarathon.”

How to Donate

To support Dean’s ultramarathon and donate to Sidney’s fund, please visit:

For more information, images, or to arrange interviews, please contact Catherine Cooper at +33 5 61 69 57 89, +33 6 09 03 55 88, or