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A big family effort as team of 17 get ready to tackle the Great North Run

Seventeen cousins, wives and partners of two well-known Wolds families will be putting their best foot forward as they start preparations to take part in this year’s Great North Run in memory of their grandfather who passed away from prostate cancer.

The Megginsons and Falkinghams will be raising money for Prostate Cancer UK when the world’s largest half marathon takes place in September after Mike Falkingham, their grandpa, passed away at the age of 81 last November.

Since then, another member of the family, Simon Megginson, has also been diagnosed with the most common form of cancer found in men, affecting 52,000 people in the UK every year.

With the cause so close to her family’s hearts, Polly Megginson decided that she wanted to do something to not only help the charity, but also raise awareness of prostate cancer, remember her grandpa and show support for her uncle Simon.

Having sent a group message around her family members to let them know she was taking part in the Great North Run and asking whether any of them fancied joining her, Polly expected a couple of them to give her the thumbs up.

However, she was pleasantly surprised when a total of 17 members of her family agreed to join her.

Team Meggs and Falkys at the Great North Run will be comprised of: Polly Megginson, Edward Falkingham, James Falkingham, Izzy Falkingham, William Megginson, Ben Megginson, Rosie Dale, Charlie Falkingham, Emily Mitchell, Emma Falkingham, Ollie Applebee, Lucy Barker, Jack Barker, Sam Falkingham, Shonie Woodall, Millie Cooke and Jonty Megginson.

“I thought it would be a good idea to do the Great North Run and I wanted to run it in aid of Prostate Cancer as, sadly, last year we lost my grandpa to prostate cancer,” Polly told the Wolds Weekly.

“Additionally, my uncle was diagnosed with prostate cancer earlier this year. The doctors have caught it early, which is great and, because of the research that has been going on, he will make a full recovery.

“As a family, we really wanted to raise some money for the charity. I sent a text out to all my cousins, thinking one or two might sign up to do the Great North Run with me.

“I thought that if three or four of us decided to do it, that would be great but more and more of us jumped on board. I don’t think anyone wanted to be left out.

“It turned out to be 17 of us, including cousins, their wives and girlfriends, from my mum’s side of the family and my dad’s side, and I couldn’t quite believe it.

“We all have a big connection to Driffield Rugby Club and there have been quite a few male supporters who have also been diagnosed with prostate cancer recently.

“It’s shocking how many men it affects and until it impacts you, then you perhaps don’t realise that one in eight men will get prostate cancer during their lives.

“For us, raising the money is important, but equally important is getting the word out about prostate cancer.

“Grandpa was a big character in the East Yorkshire farming community. He was bubbly and loud and you probably heard him before you saw him.

“He knew lots of people in the community and we thought it would be good to raise some money in his memory. He would probably have thought we were all barking mad, but we all got that from him.

“He would have loved that we are all doing it together.”

This year’s Great North Run will take place on Sunday 10th September, but despite the event being just under six months away, some of the group have already started training.

With a mix of abilities, Polly expects Team Meggs and Falkys to come together and encourage each other over the finish line, in turn raising a sizeable sum of money for Prostate Cancer UK.

“Some of us are more natural runners than others,” said Polly. “I’ve done the Great North Run in the past and a couple of the others have.

“However, some of the group have very little or no experience of doing anything like this at all.

“It means the training is very important and will have to start fairly soon. It’s already getting quite competitive and I think we will all be egging each other on.

“There’ll be a fairly large support team coming to Newcastle and hopefully our grandma will be able travel up and cheer us on.

“We have set ourselves a target of £7,000 but we’re hoping we can smash that and reach the £10,000 mark.

“Now there are so many of us doing it, there is the potential that we may organise some other fundraising event to run alongside the Just Giving page.”

If you would like to donate, visit www.justgiving.com/fundraising/meggs-falkys-fundraising.

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