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104 %
raised of £1,500 target
by 50 supporters
JJ de Haas avatar
JJ de Haas

Running for those who cannot ...

Fundraising for Brain & Spine Foundation

104 %
raised of £1,500 target
by 50 supporters

Brain & Spine Foundation

We provide support and information to those affected by brain & spine problems

Charity Registration No. 1098528


Update [5th October 2008]
A grand time of 02:05:21 hours for the Great North Run!

Update [7th September 2008]
A grand time of 52:02 minutes for the Great Yorkshire Run!

Well there is no avoiding it! I swore to myself that I was not going through the ordeal of running a half marathon again. Just like the morning after a good party, you swear that you will never drink again, the next thing I know, I've forgotten how painful the experience was and I signed up for the Great North Run 2007! Worse still, I actually got a place out of the 50,000 available! Last time it took me three rounds of ballots to get in, so I thought it was a safe bet that I would fail and say "well at least I tried"!

However, I was let off the hook, as the run coincided with the expected delivery date of my first child! Therefore, I deferred by entry to the Great North Run 2008 (Sunday 5th October). To compensate, I entered myself in the first GreatYorkshire Run 2007.

Now 2008 has jumped me, meaning that for the next 9 months, I will actually have to exercise and eat healthy again and to top it off, I will still have to suffer the experience of the Great North Run 2008!

Still every grey cloud has a silver lining. Just so I don't feel alone preparing for this torturous event, I have signed myself and my three nieces (Hannah, Talla, & Gabby) into the GreatYorkshire Run 2008 (Sunday 7th September), as a warm up exercise. As they say ... misery loves company! 


Why am I doing this? Two reasons:

[1] Last time I ran the Great North Run 2005 with the expectation of setting myself a personal best time. Yet when I arrived at the start of the run, I was completely surrounded by ten's of thousands of people who were there on behalf of good causes. I felt guilty that Scooby Doo, Batman, and some half-naked cheerleaders where there to battle the evils that bring ill-health to the human race, whilst I had completely misunderstood the meaning of this run ... to raise money and not to set a personal best time.

[2] More importantly, in 2002, my father passed away from a neurological disorder called Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS). Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, sometimes called Lou Gehrig's disease, is a rapidly progressive, invariably fatal neurological disease that attacks the nerve cells (neurons) responsible for controlling voluntary muscles. In ALS, both the upper motor neurons and the lower motor neurons degenerate or die, ceasing to send messages to muscles. Unable to function, the muscles gradually weaken, waste away, and twitch. Eventually the ability of the brain to start and control voluntary movement is lost. Individuals with ALS lose their strength and the ability to move their arms, legs, and body. When muscles in the diaphragm and chest wall fail, individuals lose the ability to breathe without ventilatory support. The disease does not affect a person's ability to see, smell, taste, hear, or recognise touch, and it does not usually impair a person’s thinking or other cognitive abilities. The cause of ALS is not known, and scientists do not yet know why ALS strikes some people and not others. Unfortunately, it struck my father and after seeing the effects of the disorder, I live in fear of it happening to me and my children.

My run is dedicated to my father and all those courageous souls who have to go through the same ordeal as my father. The money that I raise, will hopefully contribute to finding a cure and for those already suffering, to make their lives that little bit more comfortable.

Thank you for visiting my fundraising page.

Donating through this site is simple, fast and totally secure. It is also the most efficient way to donate: Brain and Spine Foundation will receive your money electronically and, if you are a taxpayer, an extra 28% in Gift Aid will be added to your donation at no cost to you. For those who would rather provide a cash donation, please contact me. All offline donations will also be recorded on this site.

So, please donate generously.

If there is anyone you know, who might be interested in sponsoring me or donating to this charity, please feel free to pass on the link to my sponsorship page.

Many thanks for your support.