Runners are being asked to get on their marks for this year’s Great North Run and help out a city respite care centre for poorly children.
Sunderland’s Grace House children’s respite centre has places available for September’s half-marathon from Newcastle to South Shields, and it is calling on well-wishers to join its team.
I miss Jamie so much, and I have so many wonderful memories. These memories are keeping me going. My legs will be ready to fall off at the finish, but I want to make Jamie proud.Emily Ferries, girlfriend
Karen Maclennan, a fund-raiser for the Southwick short-break facility, is urging people to sign up now before it is too late as there are only a few week to go until the deadline for applications.
Karen will find this year’s event especially emotional as her son Jamie died suddenly last December, aged just 27, following a seizure.
Former Thornhill School pupil Jamie had juvenile myoclonic epilepsy, diagnosed 11 years previously.
Now, a group of friends and family, including his girlfriend Emily Ferries and his sister Nichola, plan to take part in the run in his memory.
Emily, 24, of Tunstall, Sunderland, said: “Over the last few years, Jamie and I kept saying that we would like to do the Great North Run for Grace House, Jamie’s chosen charity.
“Unfortunately, we didn’t get to do this together, so now I’m going to run with Jamie’s sister Nichola and his friends.
“I miss Jamie so much, and I have so many wonderful memories. These memories are keeping me going.
“My legs will be ready to fall off at the finish, but I want to make Jamie proud.”
Also pounding the pavements will be Jamie’s friend Sean Bellon, a fellow rugby player.
“To do any event in memory of Jamie is an absolute pleasure and especially for his chosen charity, the Grace House appeal.
“Jamie was one of the very few people that could brighten my day, even if I was having one of the worst. He will be sorely missed by everyone but never forgotten.”
Anyone who would like to take part in the run can call 525 2885 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.