Megan’s Mum Madeline accounts on how Megan came to support this very special cause:
On Saturday 6th September, Megan Jones from Bunbury Aldersey School lined up to run the 4k Junior Great North Run in Newcastle.
The story starts when Meg was around 18-months old and had been in and out of hospital with numerous chest infections. One infection eventually got the better of her and she was rushed to Alder Hey Hospital from the Countess of Chester with an empyema, to have an operation. In the blur of it all, Meg's parents were very grateful to be offered a room to stay at Ronald McDonald House. This enabled them to stay close to Meg whilst she was in intensive care and afterwards on the ward. It's every parent's worst nightmare to have a child in hospital. Being able to stay within 2 minutes walk of the ward was a huge help, especially for a child as young as Meg.
Fast forward 8 years and Meg is a healthy, active 10-year old who decided that she'd like to give something back to Ronald McDonald House, so that they can go on helping parents stay near their children. She entered the Junior Great North Run, a 4k race that takes place the day before the main Great North Run and set about training and raising sponsorship.
With a mum, dad and dog (Bo) who all enjoy running, Meg had plenty of choice when it came to training partners. She started slowly, doing short distances, gradually building up to 4k around the Bunbury lanes and canal tow paths. Bo helped by being a great distraction when Meg was tired and ready to give up.
When Meg wasn't running, she was fundraising. She set herself a target of £500 and asked just about everyone she's ever known to sponsor her. A few weeks into fundraising, we got a call from Bunbury resident Claire Dickens, who works for a local company, Illingworth Seddon Ltd (and is an ambassador for the St. James's Place Foundation) with the amazing news that they would match whatever Meg raised up to a limit of £500 after seeing Meg's article in the Parish Link.
The whole family travelled up to Newcastle the night before the run, so that we'd have no worries about getting to the start line on time. Meg was initially quite surprised to see how many kids were there to run (around 3000), but soon got caught up in the amazing atmosphere. She enjoyed the warm-up session and then set off in amongst the crowd. She ran the 4k route in around 25 mins and her mum and dad were delighted to see her crossing the line on the big screen.
We all enjoyed the rest of the weekend with Meg having a well-earned special meal out that night. Once the sponsorship money was added up, we were all delighted to see that Meg had raised £1179.50 absolutely smashing her target and making a real contribution to Ronald McDonald House at Alder Hey. We were invited over to Alder Hey where Meg handed over her cheque and received a special wooden plaque with her name on to add to their tree of life. A true honour! Megan would like to say a very big thank you to all those that helped her reach such an amazing amount.