Local man raises over £15,000 for deaf children ahead of London Marathon

21 April 2016

 A dad from Belfast is running the Virgin London Marathon on Sunday 24 April and has already smashed his target to raise an astounding £15,000 for the National Deaf Children’s Society (NDCS) the leading charity for deaf children and young people in the UK.

He will be running the 26.2 miles as part of a team of 64 National Deaf Children’s Society runners looking to raise £120,000, which will help improve the lives of more than 45,000 deaf children and young people.

 Graham Fitzgerald, who will be turning 40 this year, has been inspired to undertake this challenge because his youngest daughter Isla was recently diagnosed as deaf just before her 3rd birthday. With the help of the bi-lateral hearing aids that she now wears Graham and his family hopes that Isla will have sufficient hearing to fully develop her speech and language and grow up to become a confident communicator.

 Graham said:

“I know how important it is that deaf children and young children get the right support. With it, deaf children can do anything other children can do. The National Deaf Children’s Society have been a wonderful source of support to our family in the post diagnosis period and we have met many children and families who benefit enormously from their tireless work.

 As I am turning 40 this year I was already considering undertaking a memorable challenge so by trying to raise money for NDCS I now have all the motivation I will ever need to run the London Marathon on April 24th.”

 “I’m very much looking forward to running on Sunday and it’ll be nice seeing the London sights as I run past.”

 Readers can support Graham by making a donation at:

http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/gfmarathon

 Laura Kennedy, Head of Corporate, Community and Events at the National Deaf Children’s Society, said:

 “We have been amazed by Graham’s fundraising efforts; £15,000 is one of the largest amounts an individual has ever raised for the charity so it is an outstanding achievement!   Every day in the UK four babies are born deaf. The vast majority are born to families with no first-hand experience of deafness, so it’s crucial they get the right early support. 95% of our work is funded by the public so the help of people like Graham makes sure we can continue providing expert practical and emotional support to deaf children and their families.”

The National deaf Children’s Society’s team of cheerers will be at the London Marathon at mile 25 to cheer on runners and encourage them along the final mile. The charity is currently looking for cheerers to come and spur on the NDCS London Marathon runners. Contact ndcschallenges@ndcs.org.uk to sign up or call 0207 014 1135.

 If anyone would like to run for NDCS in next year’s London Marathon they can apply here: www.ndcschallenges.org.uk/london2017

 

-Ends-

For further information and photos, please contact:

Charlotte Coombes

Senior Media Officer, NDCS

Tel: 0207 014 1149

Email: charlotte.coombes@ndcs.org.uk

 

 Notes to Editors:

·         NDCS is the national charity dedicated to creating a world without barriers for deaf children and young people.

·         Four babies are born deaf every day and nearly all deaf children (over 90%) are from families with no first-hand experience of deafness

·         There are over 45,000 deaf children in the UK.

·         Parents with concerns about their child’s hearing can contact the NDCS

·         Freephone Helpline on 0808 800 8880 (voice and text) or email helpline@ndcs.org.uk , or access the website at www.ndcs.org.uk