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ABC Fitness hosts fundraiser for local man with rare disorder
Sean and kids
Sean Young went from a physically fit father and husband to paralyzed in a short amount of time due to Guillain-Barre Syndrome. - photo by Photo Contributed

ABC Fitness is hoping Turlock will run together to help a member of the community while he battles a rare disorder.


Jennifer Neal, owner of ABC Fitness, said #ABCFitFam member Sean Young went from physically fit to paralyzed in such a short amount of time it was hard to believe.


“We thought he would be back on his feet in no time, that this was just a medical scare, but then he started declining fast,” said Neal. “It just seemed like it was overnight and he was paralyzed.”


Young has been in the hospital since October 2015, and was six weeks away from graduating from the police academy when he was diagnosed with the life-threatening condition of Guillain-Barre Syndrome.  This rare disorder causes the body’s immune system to attack the nerves and rapidly progresses to paralysis.


Neal met with Young’s family, his wife Lauren and their two young sons, and when Young was conscious he asked Neal to continue to “kick the heck out of his buddies and keep them in shape,” like any good workout partner would say.


This is when the idea of helping Young and his family came to life.


ABC Fitness will host a Fun Run Trail Loop around Donnelly Park at 8 a.m. on Feb. 27 in an effort to raise funds for the Young family as they are going through this medical crisis.


“We know 5K fundraisers are common, but we wanted to do something that more so represented Sean’s style of working out,” said Neal.


The members of ABC Fitness decided to create a map around Donnelly Park with larger than life banners of Young—with the help from their friends at PSI Advertising—to mark different stations that represent one of Young’s favorite exercises.


“There will be 10 total stations and participants will have the option to partake in the workouts at every ‘Sean station’ or run the three laps for the 5K,” said Neal. “It’s different in the fact that we’re able to reflect what Sean likes to do as he was very active and loved the obstacle courses and circuit training that we did.”


Lauren Young is thankful for the generosity of ABC Fitness and the Turlock community.


“It means so much to our family, especially to Sean, to see his whole town come out to support him and his recovery journey,” she said.  “This would definitely keep him in good spirits and I couldn’t thank everyone enough for that.”


According to the Mayo Clinic, the exact cause of Guillain-Barre syndrome is unknown and there is no known cure for the disorder. Several treatments can ease symptoms and reduce the duration of the illness and most people recover from GBS, though some may experience lingering effects from it, such as weakness, numbness or fatigue.


“Sean has a long road ahead of him right now as far as recovery; he’s paralyzed from the neck down and still on a ventilator,” said Lauren Young. “But he is young and otherwise healthy so he does have a good chance of making a decent recovery; it’s just a long road ahead for all of us.”


The registration fee for the Fun Run Trail Loop is $25 and 100 percent of the proceeds will be donated to the Young family.


“We’re powerful together,” said Neal. “This is what small town people do; we pride ourselves in this, coming together and helping families.”


The event will happen rain or shine. For more information, contact Neal at 535-8530.