We always like to do our bit for charity here at Red C and over the years we’ve raised thousands of pounds for causes that mean something to us. This year, we’re looking after one of our own. Ex-Red C art director Nicki Galley left us after the birth of her second child, Ava, who was born with a Rare Chromosome Disorder. She is now a full time carer for two-year-old Ava and has to be there around the clock and spend many nights in hospital with her.
There are hundreds of ‘rare’ chromosome disorders. Ava’s disorder is just one variation of 100s of disorders and Unique help to catalogue them, bring similar disorders together to help parents understand the potential implications. This disorder is so rare it’s difficult for parents to find support once their new-born child has been diagnosed. One charity, Unique, is there for them. Offering advice, support and somewhere to turn when they need it most. We wanted to do something to help Nicki and her family and supporting the charity that helps support them was the obvious choice. So we formed ‘Team Unique’ to run the Bupa Great Manchester Run. It didn’t take long for the banter to start between the runners. ‘I haven’t done any training’, ‘I’m not bothered about my time’, ‘I think I might do it in an hour and ten minutes’. And that was all from Steve White, who incidentally was the fastest of the lot.
On race day we met up an hour before our start time and started comparing and pre-empting various injuries that would excuse our time, should we be slower than we wanted. We posed for a quick picture before we set off, proudly showing off our #AVAPOWER slogans on our backs. This slogan came about when Ava was particularly poorly in hospital and all of Nicki’s friends and family were wishing her well through social media sites. It seemed to work as Ava made a brilliant recovery that time and it’s something that has stayed with Ava. We love it.
We decided at the beginning that we wouldn’t stay together and we’d just get round in our own time. Naturally, Steve sprinted as fast as he could the minute the race started, the rest of us made our way steadily round. There is something very special about the Manchester 10k. The route itself isn’t all that pretty but the support as you go round is unbelievable. Live music lined the streets along with people shouting your name out, which was weird until you remembered it’s on your race number. Red C Chairman Adrian Rowe cheered us on with all his might, which was absolutely fantastic.
The oddest part of the day had to be running past the Bupa volunteers holding out rubber gloved hands covered in Vaseline for runners who needed it. Erm… no thanks. As you head towards the finish line, which is rather cruelly up hill, the support gets louder and the high fives more frequent. This is the best bit. The end is in sight. You cross the line and grab your bag of free stuff then try to walk towards the meeting point where you know there will be a cold beer, after drinking unnaturally colourful sports drinks to re-hydrate of course.
We’d done it. It felt great. We all raised our glasses to the brave and beautiful Ava Galley and felt pretty good about ourselves knowing we have raised more than £1000 for Unique and still counting. We’re even thinking of running again, although next year we’ll bring our own Vaseline.
A massive pat on the back must go to Red C’s Keith Pleasant who also ran the race in a super speedy 49 minutes raising money for another favourite charity of Red C, The Mustard Tree. There’s still time to donate to both these causes here: