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Windsor ironwoman to tackle gruelling race for 'hero' cousin Barney

Windsor ironwoman to tackle gruelling race for 'hero' cousin Barney

Tara O'Connor

Windsor ironwoman to tackle gruelling race for 'hero' cousin Barney

A woman from Windsor is taking on Ironman Mallorca to raise awareness of a life-limiting condition which requires her cousin to have 24-hour care.

Leanne Gardner, of Oxford Road, will tackle a 2.4-mile swim, a 112-mile bike ride and run a marathon on Saturday, September 26.

When she started training a year ago, she had never run more than six miles, didn't own a bike and by her own admission 'couldn’t swim properly'.

The 28-year-old is doing the gruelling triathlon for five-year-old Barney Gardner who has lissencephaly - a brain disorder.

It is a rare, gene-linked malformation with no cure. Barney was only given a life expectancy of two-years but defied medical opinion and is living a happy and loving life aged five.

She will do the triathlon with school friend Leanne Bruce, also from Windsor.

Leanne Gardner said: "While there is nothing we can do to save Barney, we wanted to make his life better, easier and worth living for.

“Barney is my hero and will brighten up your day with just a smile.

"It has been an exhausting and emotional year, having to juggle work, a house move and daily life with 100-mile bike rides, learning to swim and marathon runs, but knowing it has all been for Barney has kept me going.”

The pair are already over halfway to a £10,000 fundraising target. Money will be split between Barney, his school in Worcestershire and Acorns Children’s Hospice in the West Midlands.

Visit to see Leanne’s fundraising page.

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