Lee gets Ryan on board for Grand National gesture

Julia Hume (Charge Nurse), being presented with a cheque from Ryan Mania, Clare Oliver (Fundraising Manager) and Lee Seymour for the Margaret Kerr Unit at BGH
Julia Hume (Charge Nurse), being presented with a cheque from Ryan Mania, Clare Oliver (Fundraising Manager) and Lee Seymour for the Margaret Kerr Unit at BGH

A Duns man has donated his winnings from the Grand National to the Margaret Kerr Unit at the BGH with the help of race winning Borders jockey Ryan Mania.

Lee Seymour decided on the gesture as a thank you to the unit who care for his late mother, Gina Goodfellow, as she battled primary lung and secondary brain cancer.

At last month’s Grand National Lee placed a £5 each way bet on Auroras Encore, ridden by former Gala Braw Lad Ryan Mania, and it romped home at 66/1 earning Lee £422.50.

Lee explained: “After my mum died I phoned trainer Sue Smith’s stables on the off chance that winning jockey Ryan Mania might be about. As it happened the man who answered the phone was standing right beside Ryan at the time so passed the phone over to him.

“I told Ryan about my Mam’s 48-day battle with cancer and asked if he would like to help me present a cheque for my winnings to the new palliative care unit at the BGH and he agreed.

“It took around two weeks to organise. On the day itself the sun was shining brightly and it was quite weird heading back to the building where Mam spent some of her last moments.

“Ryan was given a guided tour by Dr Annabel Howell and fundraising manager Clare Oliver who thanked me for my donation and for getting Ryan onside for the occasion and having the guts to arrange something like this not a month since my Mam had passed away.”