A day to remember for our people in the Great North Run

TOP PICTURE SHOWS: six of our 12 conquering heroes who completed the race today – despite the sweltering heat and torrential downpours that swept Britain. Their current fundraising total stands at £11,107. Photo sent in by Sue Blake.

This weekend the world’s biggest half marathon will take place when 60,000 runners take to the streets of Newcastle/Gateshead and South Shields for Sunday’s Great North Run!

We’ve already told you why the family of Sunderland GP Dr Sue Blake will be taking part to raise money for the ME Association. Now we’d like to introduce you to three other people who will be making Sunday a day to remember.

Jenni Farrer, from Preston in Lancashire, has a 14-year-old daughter who has had to put great chunks of her life on hold because of M.E. Already a regular Park Runner, this will be 45-year-old Jenni’s first GNR and she’s massively looking forward to the event. She will be joined on route by her partner, Tim Carey, and both hope they can meet up with the MEA’s other entrants for a group selfie.

Her daughter, Eloisa-Mai, was a very active child until failing to recover from an attack 0f glandular fever two years ago/ She was going to dance classes, walking or cycling five miles to school every day and even walking over 20 miles round the Preston Guild Wheel in one day to raise money for charity.

Pictured from the left: Jenni Farrer and Tim Carey, enjoying a day at the races; Eloisa-Mai, with Romanian rescue dog Max

Eliosa-May was diagnosed with ME/CFS a few months later and is no longer able to go to school, relies on a wheelchair and has had to put her dancing dreams on hold. On many days, she can’t even brush her own teeth or wash her hair without help.

Jenni has had to reduce her own work hours to cope with her daughter’s care.

And, from Bangor in Northern Ireland, speech and language therapist Joanne (“Jo”) Baker will be running the GNR in honour of friend Alice Barrett, who has also had a really rough time of it lately – including a spell in hospital where the consultant initially failed to take any notice of the NICE Guideline for the care of people with ME/CFS and where, until specialist M.E. physicians intervened, she had immense problems receiving adequate nutrition.

Alice (25) is now being cared for at home but she remains severely ill.

Jo, who is studying for her PhD at Newcastle University, met Alice at the university’s athletics and cross country club when they were both in freshers’ year and they became fast friends.

“I started running 5kms and some 10kms during COVID and I really love it now. I've never run a half marathon race, the GNR this year will be my first.

“I'm nervous, but it feels like it's going to be a very special day with some of Alice's family and friends from home making the trip up North to run for Action ME.”

From left: Jo and Alice, lakeside while on holiday in Germany; pals together before Alice became very ill; having a wow at a party!

Jo will be joined by another MEA runner, Georgia Mulraine, who was also at university at the same time as Alice.

“Alice still has a lot of friends in the North East who are coming out to support too which is lovely. I really hope she knows how much we all love her,” added Jo.

Other people who will also be running for the MEA are father and son Darren and Adam Blake, Nicholas Evans from North Wales, Steve Moxon from Leeds, Adam Doyle from Whitley Bay, Steve Wilson from Yeovil in Somerset, Stephen Fargent from County Durham and Claire Boneham from Sheffield.

Have a great day everyone, and thanks so much for your support.

If you would like to show your support, please put money into their individual fundraising accounts which are as follows:.


 For people with ME/CFS who are thinking about taking on a physical fundraising challenge, or if you are organising an event that might involve people with ME/CFS, please read this notice from Neil Riley, Chairman of the ME Association.

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