Thirteen year old Joey Brown from Gavinton will be running the Junior Great North Run for the third time - to raise money for the Scottish Huntington’s Association.
Three generations of Joey’s family, on his mother’s side, have been affected by this degenerative brain disorder, the latest being his second cousin Catherine McIlvar from Innerleithen who died in January this year.
Joey, a pupil at Berwickshire High School, is a member of Chirnside Chasers and is also trained by Henry Gray. He has had a number of recent successes competing in the Athletics Summer League and Borders XC Series. A distance runner he was 19th in his age group of 471 competitors in last year’s Junior Great North Run.
A justgiving page - Joey-BrownGNR - has been set up and his original target of £500 was almost reached within a week of the page being created.
Joey’s mum Liz said: “His target was £500 and we are close to that now, however we would love to raise more. Mostly though it is about raising awareness of this disease.”
Scottish Huntington’s Association (SHA) services are funded through partnership with the NHS and local authorities, but the charity needs to find around £300,000 every year to keep its group of dedicated specialists delivering day-to-day support to families living with Huntington’s disease.
Children of people diagnosed with HD have a 50/50 chance of developing the condition and John Eden, chief executive of the SHA said:“Huntington’s disease is shrouded in fear and stigma. Families are reluctant to talk about it because the genetic risk has so many potential implications for their children, jobs and financial security.”