Five members of the Graham family, Garrison, Co Fermanagh are coming together to take part in this year’s Mash Direct Belfast City Marathon, raising funds for Air Ambulance NI Charity in memory of their son and brother Neil Graham.
Parents Eddie and Joy and siblings Cherith, Jonathan and Rebecca are each running a leg of the relay event in memory of Neil Graham who tragically died in May 2018 at the age of 17 years old following a workplace incident. Speaking about why the family are taking on this challenge, Joy Graham said;
“We are forever grateful for the heroic efforts of air ambulance that day to save his life and we know everything that could be done was done. Our ambitious goal is to raise enough to cover the costs of Air Ambulance NI for one day which is £5,500.
If anyone can contribute whatever they can afford in memory of Neil and to support the service, it would be greatly appreciated. It is such a vital service to have, particularly in rural parts of Northern Ireland.”
Damien McAnespie, Fundraising Manager for the charity said, “We are humbled by the continued support to Air Ambulance NI Charity by the Graham family. This will be a very special and emotional day for them all but one they can look back on in years to come and say together ‘We did that for Neil’. I would ask anyone who knows the Graham family or the entire Fermanagh community to support their efforts in any small way over the next few weeks. To support the Graham family’s event, visit https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/neilgraham2000
Speaking ahead of the event, Joy said, “The only experienced runner in our family is Cherith who completed the London marathon last year. She is completing the longest leg of the event at 7.4 miles. She has encouraged the rest of us to come onboard, so we are building up our distances at present in preparation for the event. This will be the longest by far that the rest of us have ever ran.”
Damien McAnespie continued, “There are many ways to remember a loved one and taking part in the Mash Direct Belfast City Marathon relay event or 8-mile walk is worth considering. It is a great way to take part in one of the biggest events of the year yet doing it at your own pace with family and friends and remembering the life of someone special.”
You can register now for the 8-Mile Walk, Team Relay, Half Marathon and Full Marathon at https://belfastcitymarathon.com/ When you register you will have the option to support Air Ambulance NI. Please tick the box and we will be in touch with your digital fundraising pack and your invitation to the helicopter airbase so you can personally see the service you are challenging yourself for and supporting. We encourage all of our participants to set up an Eventmaster online page to maximise fundraising for your air ambulance. It could save a life!”