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29 January 2018

A Marathon Effort For Children With Cancer

Going that extra mile to help others is something Kevin McVeigh is all too familiar with.

As a practising solicitor with Elliot Duffy Garrett Solicitors in Belfast he is well use to providing legal advice, support and help to clients.

Kevin is also one of the many thousands of people who are prepared to go to amazing lengths to fundraise and support for the Cancer Fund for Children.

As a Board member of the local charity he remains fully committed and dedicated to supporting the local charity which helps children with cancer, and their families.

Kevin has decided to run the London Marathon this April for Cancer Fund for Children and he took time out to answer some questions.

1. Why did you choose to run London Marathon to support Cancer Fund for Children?

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.

2. Have you completed a full marathon before?

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

3. How are you finding the training?

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.

4. Have you found running for charity makes you more motivated?

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.

5. Can you share any training tips?

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.

6. Why is Cancer Fund for Children special to you?

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.

7. Do you have any highlights from your time so far as a Cancer Fund for Children Trustee?

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!

8. How can people support your London Marathon fundraising?

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

https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/kevin-mcveigh2

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