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Big Fun Run Southampton
Chance meeting inspires mum to run 5km

Chance meeting inspires mum to run 5km

A chance meeting at work has led a mother of four to take on a fundraising challenge this July.

Yvonne Dennis from Southampton met Helen Duall last year. Helen’s five year old son, Harry suffers from Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy. Yvonne was so inspired by her friend’s son’s plight that she signed up to run the Big Fun Run in Southampton to raise money into research for the disease that has affected the family.

Yvonne, 45, is taking part in the event on July 24th to raise money for Harrison’s Fund. Harrison’s Fund is named after the nine year old from Surrey who was diagnosed with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, a fatal genetic condition which affects all the muscles in the body, causing them to waste away. Harrison’s Fund’s goal is to get as much money as possible into the hands of the world’s best researchers, who are working to find a cure for Duchenne.

Yvonne said: “Helen is one of the loveliest caring people I have met and straight away we realised we had a lot in common with young children of the same age. I was then devastated to realise her little man had this awful illness and as we became closer the sadness of my friend’s situation became more apparent – she also lost her brother at the age of just 20 years old to Duchenne and now she is faced every day watching her son suffer the same fate.

“I was totally unaware of this condition and having a son the same age really touched my heart. I could not bare to think my son may not live beyond his teens and I could not bare to see him struggle and not enjoy the life most young boys do. Helen is always smiling and never has a moan or grumble despite the daily struggles she faces with the care of her poorly young man. I know inside she is broken. I would love to raise awareness of this to raise money to help these suffering families and hopefully find a cure to give these children a better future.”

Yvonne is hoping to raise £200 for the charity and has so far raised £55. To support Yvonne, please visit http://www.justgiving.com/yvonne-dennis. 

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Big Fun Run Derby
Youngster to run for hospital that saved her brother’s life

Youngster to run for hospital that saved her brother’s life

A YOUNGSTER will be getting her running shoes on to raise funds for a hospital ward that helped save her brother’s life. Junaid Jamil, of Stanton Road, was born with a life-threatening heart condition called critical aortic stenosis.

The five-year-old was transferred to Birmingham’s Children’s Hospital Intensive Care Unit where he underwent open heart surgery when he was just hours old. A month later the youngster’s heart failed. After another successful surgery, he suffered a cardiac arrest. His family was told that he may not survive the night.

Five years later and the youngster, who suffers with cerebral atrophy, a disease that affects the brain, has defied the odds.His sister Yasmine Bates, 11, decided to organise a fun run to say thanks to the intensive care unit.

Mother Hayley Bates said that all three of them would be taking part. The 30-year-old said:

“I was told that Junaid had six months to live. It was catastrophic.

“This year he will be finishing his first year at school and is beginning to talk. “It is still hard for him, he has to take medication to keep his heart going and he can’t do what other kids can do.”

The family will attempt to run at least three miles as part of the national Big Fun Run on Saturday, August 20, at Markeaton Park, Derby. The aim of the run is to make the nation healthier.

Miss Bates said: “It is not the first time that Yasmine has held fund-raisers for the unit. She has done a few at her school. “I think she wants us to run in fancy dress. I’m hoping that a few friends will join in the run as well, to help fund-raise.”

Miss Bates said that she hoped to raise a minimum of £300. She said: “We will use the money raised to help with much-needed specialist equipment, bedding, tea and coffee for the parents’ room.

“We cannot thank them enough for the care they took of Junaid.

“They go above and beyond and have allowed me watch my little man grow from a baby into a handsome, kind young man who is so happy.”

Anyone who wishes to donate can do so by clicking here.

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Amazing Alec to Take Part in Sheffield Big Fun Run

Amazing Alec to Take Part in Sheffield Big Fun Run

Alec Syphas, aged 6, is taking on Sheffield Big Fun Run at Rother Valley on 14 August with ‘Team Alec Avengers’. The team have been taking part in various sporting events over the year to raise awareness of Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy.

Alec suffers with the muscle wasting condition which currently affects his ability to climb stairs, and running and walking long distances requires a wheelchair. He decided to take part in the Big Fun Run with his mum, Rachel, so he can feel what’s it’s like to take part in a race and receive a medal.

“Alec will be starting the race without his wheelchair and then I’ll be running with the wheelchair just in case he needs it to finish the race.” Said Rachel.

They are determined to get as many friends and family to attend the event as possible to support Alec the whole way round.

“Alec is a super hero every day in our eyes and this be one of the greatest challenges that he will face.”

“We want to give him a big superhero cheer along the way and make it a really special day to remember. He lives up to his Superhero Alter Ego every single day; the boy with a huge battle ahead and the biggest smile to do it with.”

Runners are urged to take part in this year’s Big Fun Run to raise funds for a charity close to their heart, or run for fun with family and friends. Each runner receives a goody bag, making an ideal fun filled family day out. The Sheffield 5k run is situated within the beautiful Rother Valley Country Park, incorporating a lap of both the North and South lake.

Entries cost from £10.49, find out more and enter at www.bigfunrun.com. Join the chat on Facebook on www.facebook.com/BigFunRun or on Twitter @BigFunRun. 

If you want to know more about Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy or just follow Alec’s Journey, you can do so via Facebook on Friends of Alec Syphas

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Zahid and his son Harris hand over the donation to nursing staff on the neonatal unit at Heartlands
Dad thanks staff on lifesaving baby unit at Heartlands Hospital

Dad thanks staff on lifesaving baby unit at Heartlands Hospital

A DAD has thanked staff on a lifesaving baby unit that cared for his wife and new-born son with a hefty donation after completing a charity fun run.

Zahid Mahmood brought in his son Harris to meet staff on the neonatal unit at Heartlands Hospital and present them with a cheque for £450 he raised thanks to the generous support of friends, family and work colleagues as he took part in the Birmingham 5K Big Fun Run last year.

Zahid said he was inspired to fundraise for the unit to give something back to staff who had cared for his family.

He said: “The neonatal unit holds a very special place in my heart. My son was born premature and taken into the neonatal unit and the support we received as a family and the dedicated care given to my son was second to none. The staff at the unit really helped us get through that difficult time and I now want to give them something back.

“I feel by doing the 5K Big Fun Run I’ve gone a little way to show the gratitude I have for the neonatal doctors and nurses. I would really like to thank them from the bottom of my heart and words cannot express how I feel about these angels on earth.”

The money raised by Zahid will go towards the purchase of specialist post-birth equipment such as incubators, heart rate monitors, heat mattresses and syringe infusion pumps to deliver medications to babies.

The Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust Charity supports the patients and staff at Solihull, Good Hope and Heartlands Hospitals as well as the Birmingham Chest Clinic.

Visit www.heartofenglandcharity.org.uk for more information on the Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust Charity, to get involved in fundraising or to make a donation to a hospital, ward or appeal.

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Inspirational Constantinou Family Run for Charity at Crystal Palace Big Fun Run

Inspirational Constantinou Family Run for Charity at Crystal Palace Big Fun Run

Just two Big Fun Run events left for 2015! Crystal Palace Big Fun Run is the penultimate BFR event of the year, with Victoria Park Big Fun Run finally drawing the curtain on the 2015 series on the 1st November. The events have scaled the length and breadth of the UK in 2015, from the dizzy heights of Edinburgh and Glasgow, all the way down to Brighton and Southampton and many places in between. They have been a huge success this year and continue to grow in popularity – 2016 promises to be another stellar year for the Big Fun Run series.

Tommy Constantinou will run in this year’s Crystal Palace Big Fun Run in memory of his brother Christopher whose life was cut devastatingly short in 2010; Christopher was diagnosed with Type 1 Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA) at the age of four months and tragically died two months later. Tommy and his family will be raising funds for the SMA charities who supported them throughout Christopher’s battle – Spinal Muscular Atrophy Support (formerly The Jennifer Trust), who support and empower those with SMA, raising public awareness of the disease and funding SMA research, and Kisses for Kids who work with children and teenagers with long term illnesses, creating a better hospital environment, arranging family days out and taking generous donations.

Tommy, who will be joined on the course by his family, said: “As soon as we found out (about Christopher’s SMA) we just wanted to make the most of the time we had left with him… we took him to Chessington, Paradise Wildlife Park and to the Tottenham Hotspur training ground. Peter Crouch (who played for Tottenham at the time) even offered to have us all in his box with his family to watch a game.”

Tommy added: “As a family, we want to give something back to the SMA charities. We would also like to thank Dolphin Ward at Princess Alexandra Hospital in Harlow as they were amazing throughout. We wish Tommy and his family the best of luck for the run and hope they have an enjoyable day.

Big Fun Runs offers all ages and abilities the chance to shape up and smile at a fun run that promises to give people the chance to get active. “The Big Fun Run is strictly for FUN where it’s all about easy relaxed exercise. No times, no pressure, no sweat – just some easy moves and lots of laughs.” said Fun Run Director Neil Kilgour.

You too could take part in this year’s Crystal Palace Big Fun Run and raise funds for a charity close to your heart, or run for fun with family and friends. This year’s race takes place on the 31st October, kicking off at 11am in Crystal Palace Park. Standard entries close at 5pm on Thursday 22nd October. Everyone gets a goody bag, making it an ideal fun filled family day out. Whatever the reason for your Big Fun Run, enter today at www.bigfunrun.com

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Angela Morris Returns to Run Big Fun Run in Memory of Son After Sudden Death

Angela Morris, aged 55, from Warrington is to take part in this year’s Liverpool Big Fun Run to raise awareness and funds for SADS UK. The cardiac charity SADS UK aims to save lives, providing information, funding research and medical equipment to prevent premature sudden cardiac death. Angela and her group of 10 will be taking part in the run on Saturday 15th August at Sefton Park in memory of her son, Colin, who died suddenly just two days after his 18th birthday.

Angela Morris said: “Keeping Colin’s memory alive is so important to me, it’s what enables me to carry on. The charity, SADS UK, has been my lifeline since losing Colin.”

“They offer so much support and understanding to the bereaved, and people living with the condition. I am passionate about raising awareness of SADS, and helping to prevent more young lives being lost.”

This isn’t the first time that Angela has taken part in a Big Fun Run. Last year she was the official race starter for the 450 Big Fun Runners who took part at Sefton Park. Angela was nominated by SADS UK, for the incredible work she does for charity and within her community and was awarded a Cardiac Smart Gold Award by the NorthWest Ambulance Service in recognition. Overwhelmed with the generosity and support throughout the years, Angela is as determined as ever to raise more awareness about the condition which affects the rhythm of the heart and all funds raised from the Big Fun Run will go toward defibrillators within the community to help save lives.

Big Fun Runs offers all ages and abilities the chance to shape up and smile at a fun run that promises to give people the chance to get active. Situated a short walk from the city enter the magnificent 200-acre park is a picturesque, popular green area.

“The Big Fun Run is strictly for FUN where it’s all about easy relaxed exercise. No times, no pressure, no sweat – just some easy moves and lots of laughs.” said Fun Run Director Neil Kilgour.

You too could take part in this year’s Big Fun Run and raise funds for a charity close to your heart, or run for fun with family and friends. Everyone gets a goody bag, making an ideal fun filled family day out. Whatever your reason for your Big Fun Run, enter today at www.bigfunrun.com

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