Maeve runs London Marathon in memory of her late father

Maeve who took part in the Marathon recently
Maeve who took part in the Marathon recently

Lissan woman Maeve Conway, a clerical officer and teaching assistant at Lissan Primary School, raised £11,000 for Mid-Ulster Alzheimer’s Society, in memory of her father.

Maeve’s daddy, Paul Kelly, lived in Church Street, Cookstown, and was a well-known bread man who sadly passed away a few years ago after battling with dementia.

Maeve took part in this year’s Virgin London Marathon on Sunday, April 23 2017 to help raise money and awareness for the charity.

She started to run after her father passed away but she never dreamed of ever taking part in a Marathon. Maeve quietly registered last year with Alzheimer’s Society by entering into the London Marathon never thinking she would get accepted.

In October 2016, tshe was contacted by phone to say her application was successful and she was offered a place in the London Marathon.

She said “I was so taken back by the telephone call that after I had hung up, I started to cry. I just couldn’t believe it. Out of 250,000 entries my application was successful, someone was definitely looking out for me.”

In January 2017, in preparation for the Marathon, Maeve started a 16 week training programme along with her personal coach Rosalind Robinson also from Cookstown.

She also participated in a few Half Marathons along the way to help. Alongside the physical training, Maeve was required to fundraise

£2000 for the charity.

On New Year’s Eve, Maeve organised a street collection in Cookstown, with the help of the Mid-Ulster Alzheimer’s Society volunteers, family and friends, which raised £1100. At the end of January, Charlene Bell–Community Champion at Tesco, Cookstown helped Maeve organise bag packing to raise further funds.

Maeve managed to collect a further £1000. At the end of February, Maeve organised a coffee morning at Lissan Primary School, thanks to the help of school’s principal, Terry McKenna. This event raised £3300 for the charity.

Maeve showed her sincere gratitude by thanking her family.

She said, “Without the help and support of my husband Eugene, my children Clare, Noel, Ciaran, Oonagh, my surrounding family, friends, work colleagues, volunteers, parishioners, those who donated to my JustGiving page and to local businesses who donated, this fundraising achievement would not have been possible. I was comforted by the abundance of cards and messages I received. I am so over-whelmed by everyone’s support that I cannot thank you all enough.

“It is with great pride that I ran all 26.2 miles in memory of my Daddy whom I know would have been very proud of me.”