MP Writes - A Great effort to keep pace

Iain and Benjamin Wright
Iain and Benjamin Wright

I’M doing the Great North Run again this year.

I’ve done it a couple of times before, but the last time must have been about four years ago.

If I’m truly honest, I never really trained for the run last time, and I’m much less fit now than I was then.

To make matters worse, I’m doing the Great North Run with my son Benjamin. He’s now 17 and as fit as a fiddle.

My competitive streak will mean that I will inevitably try to keep up with him, and that could make things tricky. Fingers crossed that I actually make it to the finish line!

It was Ben’s idea to do the Great North Run.

We’re doing it on behalf of the Stroke Association. Five years ago, when he was 12 years old, Ben suffered a stroke.

Stroke is not something that you associate with young people, but it’s more common than you may think.

About one in a thousand people who suffer a stroke will be under the age of 30, and many children suffer mini strokes.

Ben’s stroke was quite serious, affecting his whole left side and his ability to speak. Thankfully, he’s made more or less a full recovery, although given that he is a teenager I’m not entirely sure what normal is!

The specialist team at Newcastle General Hospital provided an unbelievable standard of care for my son, and thanks to their expertise ensured that the damage that Ben’s brain endured was not more severe.

I also have to say that Ben’s determination to improve was astounding in someone so young.

Benjamin particularly wants to raise money to fund research into young stroke and to raise awareness about the fact that this is not an old person’s ailment.

I’m really proud that he wants to raise money for The Stroke Association in this way.

I appreciate that the economy is in difficult times, and that many people are finding it increasingly hard to make ends meet.

However, I would be grateful if you could consider making a donation for such a worthy cause as The Stroke Association.

You can donate on the Just Giving website at