HUNDREDS of students and teachers from an Andover school took part in a 24-hour sportathon inspired by a 10-year-old boy from Basingstoke who suffers from a rare condition.

Max’s Marathon – a 24-hour sport event – was held at John Hanson Community School organised by head girl, Maddie Day.

Maddie decided to hold the fundraiser for The Brittle Bone Society in support of her friend Max Edney, who was diagnosed with brittle bones when he was a baby.

Since his diagnosis of the rare condition which affects just one in 15,000 people, Max has broken 20 bones including his legs, arms and spine.

Read more: Basingstoke parents open up about son's hugely rare condition

Maddie joined forces with her teachers and fellow students to organise the whole school event which took place from 3pm on Thursday, March 30 to 3pm on Friday, March 31.

Students and teachers competed against each other in a series of sports during the 24 hours.

Max’s parents Steve and Leanne Edney took part in a fun run at the end of the 24-hour event, where they were joined by the mayor of Basingstoke and Deane Paul Miller and his wife Sandra, as well as the school’s headteacher Russel Stevens and Max himself.

Steve said: “As the hours went on fatigue kicked in, as did the emotions, everyone had to dig deep. Then the realisation of achievement was felt, the students and teachers on the final event the static bikes, as the sports hall was filled by close to 1,000 students and teachers cheering on to the final countdown.”

A Go Fund Me page and a raffle, auction and dress down day have helped raise £5,000 for The Brittle Bone Society.

See also: Hampshire hospital trust doctor's warning ahead of four-day junior doctor strike

Steve and Leanne have worked tirelessly to raise awareness of brittle bones after Max’s diagnosis.

Max was nearing his first birthday when he was taken to A&E at Basingstoke hospital, after breaking a bone in his leg during a tumble whilst trying to stand holding onto the sofa.

Both doctors and Max’s parents put the injury down to an unfortunate accident.

But when Max returned to hospital just weeks later with another break, questions were raised about the underlying cause.

The family faced an agonising wait over the next three days as tests were carried out to find out what was wrong with Max.

Thankfully, the consultant paediatrician suggested it might be Osteogenesis Imperfecta (OI) after noticing the whites of Max’s eyes were slightly tinged blue, a symptom which is a hallmark of the condition, also known as brittle bones.

Further tests confirmed the diagnosis, which is caused by a genetic mutation that affects the body’s production of collagen.

But not all families of those with OI are as lucky. If this doctor had not considered OI, Max might be in a very different predicament today.

“The fact is, OI is a rare condition, so sadly, it is more likely to be abuse than OI,” said Steve.

Before Max was diagnosed, his parents were investigated by doctors, police and social services.

Steve said when they eventually received a diagnosis it was “bittersweet”, explaining: “The ‘suspicion’ of child abuse had now been taken away, but in its place was a lifelong condition which our son had to deal with.”

He hopes by raising awareness medical staff, police and professional agencies will consider OI before taking children away from their parents.

Max has inspired people to raise almost £100,000 for The Brittle Bone Society and has also been an ambassador for the charity and BBC Children In Need.

For more information visit