A Marathon Effort for Children With Cancer

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Lots of local people go to amazing lengths to fundraise and support Cancer Fund for Children.

We recently caught up with one of our Board Members, Kevin McVeigh, who is one of those people going that extra mile in aid of local children with cancer, and their families.

We found out why Kevin has decided to take on the London Marathon this April for Cancer Fund for Children, and how he is getting on with his training.

I am one of the Trustees of Cancer Fun for Children. Since joining the Charity in 2014 I have learned about the great work done to support children, teenagers and young adults, and their families, living with cancer. Being a Trustee is rewarding and humbling in equal measure. Cancer Fund for Children relies on public donations and I thought I would do my bit to raise money by running the London Marathon in 2018.

I ran the London Marathon in 2015 and completed two other marathons in 2014.

The training is tough especially in the dark days – and nights – of winter. And sometimes you have to go out in the snow even when you don’t want to. Training for London started in December 2017 and there are four training sessions each week for 17 weeks including a long run usually on a Sunday morning. The distances increase gradually until, 4 weeks before the marathon, I will be running up to 50 miles a week including a 22 mile long run.

I really enjoy running and I always think you should run when you are able because there are a lot of people who would love to run but cannot due to illness or other reason. And you don’t know when you might find yourself in that position. But knowing that I am helping to raise money for Cancer Fund for Children definitely makes the training more bearable.

I have picked up many tips from other (better) runners over the years. If you are thinking of running a marathon I would recommend you:

– Use a training plan. You can choose a suitable plan from the London Marathon website.
– Stick to the plan. Don’t do any more or less.
– Listen to your body. Don’t run when you are injured.
– Eat well. You need to keep your energy levels up.
– Rest. Do not over-train by running on rest days.
– Run with other people. It is much easier to train with a buddy.

I am a husband and father of four children. We have been fortunate not to experience childhood cancer in our family. Other families have not been so lucky. Cancer Fund for Children is special to me because, as a trustee, I have personal experience of their amazing work and the support being provided to families. This is particularly true at Daisy Lodge which is the charity’s therapeutic short-break centre near Newcastle. Families can go there to relax, far away from the pressures of gruelling cancer treatment and hospital visits. There is always a happy atmosphere at Daisy Lodge and the staff are very positive and upbeat. And there are more laughs than you might imagine.

One experience always makes me smile. At the opening of Daisy Lodge in 2014, the special guest was Rory McIlroy whose foundation had made a generous donation to the Charity. I was talking to a family whose son is living with cancer and they showed me a drawing made that day by their daughter. She had placed two large daisy stickers over part of her picture and, when asked why, she said a man had spoiled the picture by writing on it but she had fixed it with the stickers. When they removed the stickers, they saw that the man was Rory and he had signed her picture!

I have a Just Giving page and would be very grateful for any donations.


You too can make a difference by running for Cancer Fund for Children. Why not sign up for the Belfast City Marathon this May, and run for local children with cancer? Sign up here.

Updated on: 5th February, 2018

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