Four siblings, Fergal McCamphill, Niall McCamphill, Christine Grant and Claire McCamphill are set to run the Belfast Marathon on Monday, May 2, for a cause close to their hearts, Motor Neurone Disease (MND).
Each sibling is aiming to run the 26.2 mile race passing some of Belfast City’s most impressive landmarks including Belfast City Hall, Albert Clock and the Titanic Quarter.
Fergal, Niall, Christine and Claire’s father, Aidan McCamphill was diagnosed with MND seven years ago.
Aidan had been a very active man and in his earlier years played hurling at club level for Dunloy Cuchullains and represented Antrim at County level. Later in life he took up golf and cycling.
Niall McCamphill says: “For anyone who may not be aware, Motor Neurone Disease (MND) is a fatal, rapidly progressing disease that affects the brain and spinal cord. It attacks the nerves that control movement so muscles no longer work. MND does not usually affect the senses such as sight, sound and feeling. Interestingly, six people per day are diagnosed with MND in the UK.
“It kills a third of people within a year and more than half within two years of diagnosis and just under 2,200 per year in the UK. It can leave people locked in a failing body, unable to move, talk and eventually breathe. It has no cure!”
Niall added “Watching a loved one, who was extremely mobile and who took such delight from being active, lose the ability to walk and move around is extremely difficult.
“As a family we wanted to do something to raise awareness of Motor Neurone Disease, to generate much needed funds for provision of local care and support and to assist in the support of research. On Monday 2nd May we will run the Belfast Marathon and hopefully in the process raise funds to support MND Association in NI. To make a donation, visit www.justgiving.com/4run4mnd/.”
MNDA Chairman Stephen Thompson said: “The Northern Ireland Branch of the MNDA is very grateful for the efforts of the McCamphill Family in raising both valuable funds for and in creating awareness of MND. Money is needed to ensure that people with MND have the best quality of life possible whilst enduring this terrible illness. Monies raised in Northern Ireland are generally spent in NI to achieve this aim.”