Wrexham father takes on Great North Run for charity in daughter's name

Reporter:

Geraint Jones

A father will don his running shoes in aid of the charity set up in his daughter’s memory.

Ally Brown, 43, of Marchwiel, will take on the Great North Run on September 10 in aid of the Lauren Brown Fund. It has has raised more than £60,000 for Wrexham Maelor Hospital’s children’s ward in the last seven years.

Mr Brown and his wife Clare, 42, set up the fund to raise funds for items to make parents’ and children’s time at the ward more comfortable after Lauren lost her brave battle with cancer aged eight in 2010.

Mrs Brown said that her husband was a keen runner who had completed the run in aid of the CLIC Sargent cancer charity about five years ago, and this year has a £1,000 target for the fund.

She added: “I’m really proud of Ally taking on the run. We had a deal that he would run and I’d get him the sponsors. I think I came off best as I am definitely no runner!”

Mr Brown will take on the run in a vest emblazoned with a photograph of Lauren and the fund’s logo.  

Mrs Brown told how Lauren inspired the fund by raising funds for TVs on the ward after the telly in her room broke one evening during her time at the hospital.

The couple then raised about £2,000 for 15 new televisions and DVDs, which are regularly updated with the latest releases.

Mrs Brown said: “When Lauren passed away it just seemed like the natural progression to carry on what she started.”

In the last couple of months the fund has purchased new fold up beds, a table football game, play mats and chairs for the ward.

Much of the funds came  from a collection at the funeral earlier this year of 17-year-old Tobias Landon, who was a close friend of Lauren at Ysgol Deiniol in Marchwiel.

Mrs Brown paid tribute to Tobias’ mother Helen for donating the funds.

“Obviously Marchwiel is very much a village community and everybody knows everyone. It was a credit to Helen that during such a hard time she wanted to put the money to the Lauren Brown Fund,” she said.

Mayor of Wrexham, Cllr John Pritchard, has named the fund as one of his mayoral charities, and the fund retains strong support from Marchwiel and
beyond.

She added: “Over the years we have had lots of support from many different people but the support within the village has been amazing.

“Ally's family has lived in Marchwiel for many years and it is a close knit village.  The Christmas and Easter bingo evenings are popular.

“We can run a charity but with no support from people we have no money within the charity to help the ward. It is only with this continued support that we can say that over the last seven years we have raised £60,000 and that is only possible with such brilliant support.

“Thank you doesn’t seem a big enough to anyone who has ever helped the Lauren Brown Fund.

“It is very humbling but also very rewarding. “

To donate to Mr Brown’s Great North Run appeal, visit virginmoneygiving.com/ allybrown2.

Email:

geraint.jones@nwn.co.uk

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