Stockport gym supporting boy’s cancer fight

Leo with members of S&P
Leo with members of S&P

Members of Strength & Performance in Stockport will be lifting pounds to raise pounds to support a four-year-old’s cancer fight.

Leo Bermejo is battling sPNET – a rare brain cancer – and £150,000, including an anonymous £75,000 donation, has been raised for treatment in America.

But the fundraising will carry on to help support Leo’s recovery and ongoing treatment costs.

Leo’s mum Karen said: “I can’t believe this and it shows that all the hard work from everyone that has been following his story has spread to someone like this.

“I don’t know who you are but thank you from the bottom of my heart.

“Now we know he can get the treatment he needs, we can all focus on the operation.

“To give Leo the best chance in life he will need months if not years of physio and speech therapy due. Such intense treatment has been quoted at £1,000 a day.”

Leo, nicknamed Leo the Lion, was just two-and-a-half when he was diagnosed with a brain tumour and has since undergone several life-saving operations and cycles of chemotherapy.

He lives in Almeria, Spain, with his parents Karen and Jorge, 40, and two sisters but has been spending time with his uncle Sean Keefe, 33, in Cheadle Hulme, Stockport.

Karen, 35, added: “Leo cannot walk, has hardly any movement in his right side and has lost his speech but he is the happiest and most determined little boy ever.”

Leo, who is also paralysed down one side, is about to undergo his fourth operation at Liverpool’s Alder Hey Children’s Hospital.

Following the operation on February 10, Leo will then travel to the ProCure Proton Center in Oklahoma City for proton beam therapy, which is not available in the UK and considered safer for young children.


Sean, who is Karen’s brother, co-owns Strength & Performance at Meadow Mill in Portwood, Stockport, and has been helping raise cash and awareness of Leo’s fight.

S&P gym members will attempting to complete 150,000 reps from 8am-4pm on February 18.

The back-breaking exercises will include bench presses, squats, deadlifts, kettle bell swings, bear-crawls, prowler pushes, burpees, sandbag carries and farmer walks.

Sean said: “We are doing the challenge to help support Leo with his ongoing medical issues and rehabilitation.

“He has been through so much in his short life, he has experienced pain and discomfort, the level of which is hard to imagine.

“When we were thinking about what to do for this challenge, it had to be something that pushed us to our physical and mental limits.

“We know it’s going to be tough but the fact that we are doing this for Leo will make us persevere even when we want to give up.”