Mark is born and raised in Cumbernauld and works as an accountant and bookkeeper at Bookkeeping 2Gether Ltd. He is the father of Alycia (12). John, also from Cumbernauld, works as a printer. He is married to Karen (46).
The Berlin Marathon takes place on Sunday 16th September 2018 and the race joins Boston, London, Tokyo, Chicago and New York as one of the 6 World Marathon Majors. Mark and John will run through 26 miles of the German capital before crossing the finish line at the iconic 18th-century Brandenburg Gate.
The duo decided to take on the challenge in memory of John’s mother, Helen McAvoy, who was diagnosed with MND in 2003, passing away just 18 months later in 2005.
MND is a rapidly progressing terminal illness, which stops signals from the brain reaching the muscles. This may cause someone to lose the ability to walk, talk, eat, drink or breathe unaided.
Mark said: “John's mum, Helen McAvoy, sadly died of MND over 12 years ago in December 2005. We both decided that, when we won our places in the Berlin Marathon ballot, we could use the opportunity to raise some funds for MND Scotland and hopefully raise awareness of this horrible disease.”
“Although John and his family had heard of MND before Helen was diagnosed, they were totally unaware of how rapid and aggressive the illness would be. The family really struggled to come to terms with this horrible illness and Helen left behind her husband John, son John and daughter Sharon, along with her 3 grandsons."
“Now we’ve decided to take part in the Berlin Marathon in Helen’s memory. Both of us are feeling very excited about the prospect of running a Marathon in such an amazing city and we’re looking forward to running across the finish line at the Brandenburg Gate.
“We started training in February as novice runners and we’re now clocking-up as many as 20 miles per week in training. We ran the Stirling Half Marathon on April 29th in a time of 1 hour 48 minutes. We also took part in the MND Scotland annual 10Km Fun Run on Saturday 12th May at Strathclyde Park. We managed that in a time of 44 minutes. As a result, we’re aiming to complete the Berlin Marathon in under 4 hours.”
Iain McWhirter, MND Scotland’s Head of Fundraising, said: “I’m wishing Mark and John all the best for the Berlin Marathon in September and I’d like to thank them for supporting MND Scotland.
“It’s because of passionate fundraisers like Mark and John that we’re able to continue providing information, care and support to people affected by MND, as well as fund cutting-edge research into a cure.
“I wish them all the best for the run and team MND Scotland will be cheering them on every step of the way.”
If you would like to support Mark and John, you can sponsor them on their Just Giving page at: www.justgiving.com/fundraising/mark-young1974
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