A FAMILY has conquered a 300-kilometre paddleboard challenge, to support those affected by a rare genetic disorder.

Four-year-old Jacob Smith was diagnosed with DiGeorge syndrome at just six-months-old, the medical condition that affects body development both physically and mentally, and after receiving advice and support from Max Appeal, his family were inspired to do something to give back.

The Salisbury family decided to paddle the 300km distance on the River Wye, and raised more than £3,000 for the charity.

The challenge was also used to raise awareness about the condition and the help that the charity has given Jacob, who had to have surgery at only 13-weeks-old.

The paddleboard team was made up of Jacob's mum and dad, Ben and Victoria, Ben's brother Daniel, his partner Tracy, and their sister Kayleigh Millward.

Ben said: "Jacob was born with a cleft lip and submucous palate, and a right aortic arch. He is very lucky that the right aortic hasn't caused any problems but he has this checked regularly.

"Everyday things we take for granted take a little more time and careful planning. We feel very lucky though as the condition affects each person differently and there are people who have a lot more severe medical conditions."

The team set off on August 24 from the Hereford rowing club, and the feat was completed in just under a week.

Following the challenge Ben said the family experienced blisters, sun burn, joint pain and a sprained ankle, but the journey was "worthwhile".

He added: "The mental challenge came in two parts; the challenge of overcoming the mind and body’s need to just stop and rest, and the challenge myself and my wife faced when asked to explain the condition to others, [but] this made the whole journey worthwhile as it allowed to talk about Jacob and his conditions and not to bottle up our emotions.

"I’d like to think we have made a small difference in raising awareness for both the charity and also the condition."