My Uncle John ran a few Great North Runs in his time. He posted some good times, too. But that's no surprise, since, inspired by his hero, the great Ron Hill, he once held a daily running streak of 11 years and 33 days.
Many's the time he used to drag me from my warm bed on a Sunday morning and force me out over the Lancashire moors on bitterly cold winter mornings. OK, it was hell, but strangely fun.
I don't run much these days. Tennis is my game, really. But I'll be turning out on 19th September in the Great North Run for Parkinson's UK because, around ten years ago, John's amazing running career was abruptly halted by Parkinson's.
The Great North Run is an event laced with significance for me, not just because of John's story, but because South Shields, the end point of the run, is also where his wife (my aunty) hails from. It's my home town, too.
What will your donation buy?
£2 is enough to pay for Parkinson's UK DVD 'Being There' to be sent to someone recently diagnosed with Parkinson's.
£26 can pay for a nurse to answer calls on a helpline for one hour.
£150 can fund a Parkinson's nurse for one day, providing specialist care for people with the condition.
£1000 could fund a cutting-edge research project for a week.
remains convinced that a cure for this horrible disease isn't far away but, to
achieve that, they need donations. If you're even vaguely affected by John's
story, please give something, anything, to Parkinson's UK. Thanks.