Father and son run in the sun for RNIB
Lurgan father of two Nevan Lavery, 52 and his 18-year-old son Adam, have raised an incredible £2,945 for sight loss charity Royal National Institute of Blind People Northern Ireland (RNIB NI).
Back in March, the fleet-footed pair, supported by wife Louise and daughter Ella, completed the Barcelona Marathon racing home in a time of four hours 18 minutes and four hours 14 minutes respectfully.
Nevan and Louise Lavery’s daughter Ella, now aged 15, was born with cataracts and now has very little sight in her left eye.
From an early age, the family have received advice and support through RNIB’s Children, Young People and Families service. When Nevan was inspired to run his first ever marathon, it was important to him to support RNIB so that other families might continue to benefit from RNIB specialist services.
Speaking about his fundraising challenge, Nevan said: “Back in August 2022, I just made the decision that I wanted to try a marathon, if only to see what it was like. My wife Louise and I have been keen runners in a local running club since 2019 and enjoy running five or 10K distance. The running bug got me in 2019 after I did a couch to 5K. One night I racked up ten miles without even meaning to. I got such a buzz after doing a leg of the Belfast City Marathon and that’s what got me thinking about a full marathon. It’s a great feeling when you’re running with other people and we’re all sharing the same experience and goal. I find running so good for clearing the mind and I get a wonderful feeling after I finish.
“A few friends had done the Barcelona Marathon and so I mentioned it to my son Adam and once Adam turned 18, we signed up and just went for it. The four of us made a weekend of it in Barcelona and Adam and I ran the marathon together. I say ‘together’ but by mile 22 or so, I was feeling the pace a bit so had to let Adam go on. I finished in four hours 18 minutes, but Adam raced home in four hours 14 minutes, which was amazing. I couldn’t be prouder of him and what he’s accomplished. I wouldn’t mind but he started his training long after I did!
“It was hard going. I remember a point when that little voice of doubt crept in, and I wondered if I would finish. But I always had it in my mind to complete the distance. There was one stretch of about 10km where we had to run in the direct heat from the sun, but it wasn’t too bad. The scenery was stunning running by the shore and we got to run past the famous Sagrada Familia Basilica.
“We wanted to raise as much as we could for RNIB’s Children, Young People and Families services. We just want other children or young people with sight loss to benefit from the same help and support that Ella got from RNIB.
“Right from when she was a baby, through until now, the support we’ve received from RNIB as a family has been unbelievable. Louise and I are in no doubt that this has helped Ella to grow in confidence. Through group activities and family events, we’ve had so much advice and support and that’s made all the difference in helping us not feel on our own or like we had nowhere to turn. It was a real turning point when we were able to meet and talk to other families in the same situation.
“I just want to say a massive congratulations to my son Adam for getting involved and running the marathon with me. Not many people sign up to do a marathon and even less do one at the age of 18. I think he’s an inspiration. I said I’d only do one marathon, but I’ve enjoyed it that much that I’ve registered to do the Dublin Marathon now too.”
“I want to thank everyone who made such generous donations to our fundraising cause. Special thanks to the folks at Fit Zone for all their support and most importantly to my wife Louise who helped so much in making it all possible.”
Roisin Meagher, RNIB’s Family Services Officer in the Southern Health and Social Care Trust, said: “I want to sincerely thank Nevan and Adam and the Lavery family for raising such an incredible amount for RNIB. I’ve worked with the family for some years now and it’s wonderful to see how Ella has grown up to be such a confident and determined person. That’s exactly what our team at RNIB NI want to do for every child or young person with a vision impairment who we support.
“Our Children, Young People and Families team provide support and advice to families, and those supporting children with sight loss or a vision impairment, from birth up to 25 years of age.
“Donations like this will ensure that our support services will be able to reach more families affected by sight loss so that we can continue to break down the barriers that exist for children and young people with a vision impairment, so they have the same opportunities to thrive and reach their potential like anyone else.”
Your support helps us make a difference in the lives of blind and partially sighted children and adults of all ages, throughout Northern Ireland and across the UK. Visit rnib.org.uk/fundraising for details on how you can get involved and support people affected by sight loss.
For further media information contact Joe Kenny at RNIB NI.
T: 07936 601266
Notes to editors
We are the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB).
Every six minutes, someone in the UK begins to lose their sight. RNIB is taking a stand against exclusion, inequality and isolation to create a world without barriers where people with sight loss can lead full lives. A different world where society values blind and partially sighted people not for the disabilities they’ve overcome, but for the people they are.
RNIB. See differently.
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