Utica man with muscle-weakening illness attempting to break world push up record

A Utica man is finding strength in a devastating illness that will weakens his muscles overtime, eventually causing his death.

Brent Masserant isn't letting that stop him from breaking the world pushup record.

"It is difficult but not impossible so I am going to try and do it," he said.

Masserant is working to beat the word pushup record -- going for 20,034 pushups in 12 hours. The current record is 19,325.

"If I don't that's OK, I am still going to do 20,034 -- if it takes 13 or 14 hours so be it," he said.

But what makes this even more difficult for Brent is he is battling spinocerebellar ataxia, a rare hereditary disorder that causes slurred speech, loss of balance, fatigue, and weakening of the muscles to the point where a person literally wastes away. Brett had to watch as the disease took the life of his brother, two sisters and his father.

"My dad had an illness I did it by his bedside, and now he passed away and I have that illness I continue to do pushups and I want to, while I still can, do as many as I can," he said.

Brett is taking on this challenge at his Utica cryotherapy store  Accelerated Innovative Recovery. Cryotherapy helps Brett manage his muscle pain.

"Cold therapy is negative 300 degrees," he said.

Brett knows it's not going to be easy, but he will push on, hoping to inspire other people facing disabilities while honoring his father, who he says gave him the strength to bring awareness to this debilitating disease.

"I say I am one of the strongest handicapped people in the world but I hope that that gets challenged," he said. "He would be proud of what I am doing he would be amazed. He would be amazed at the little things I do so this is pretty big and he would like it."

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