Jimmy has congenital myasthenia, a genetic disease causing serious muscle weakness.

From the age of nine, he was unable to stand and has been reliant on a wheelchair. He struggled with the things most of us take for granted in life: washing, getting out of bed and getting dressed. Jimmy says: "It was frustrating growing up. My friends would go off and I'd be left on my own. They'd forget about me. I got really tired of watching other people play football."

But when he was 17, with the help of research funded by myaware, doctors suggested he trialled a new drug, Salbutamol, alongside pyridostigmine. Within three days, Jimmy could stand and a couple of days later, he managed to walk a few steps.

"I was suddenly able to stand. It was weird. I was under the impression that I would always have this trouble but I can take about 150 steps now. I am quite proud, amazed and very grateful to the research team."

Taking the drug has certainly transformed Jimmy's future.

His mother, Kerry, says: "Jimmy's at an age where his friends are going away and, before he started taking the medication, there was no way he would have been able to function on his own.

"Now he is able to do more and more by himself and he is really challenging himself. As a mum, this is what you want. I can see his life really developing and flourishing now - it's so nice to think that he will get to have the independent experiences that people expect to have at his age. 

"It's all about hope - you never expect change to happen, but you hope. It's a little miracle"

In people with myasthenia, the brain tells the muscles to work but the message fails to get through. It is not known precisely how Salbutamol works but it appears to stabilise the connection between the nerve and the muscle.

Research, funded by myaware, involves testing how the drug alters the nerve to muscle connection.

Jimmy is sat at a table next to a bottle of medication