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A Father’s Day to remember as family unites to raise money for motor neurone disease charity

The McGaw children are taking part in the Fun Run Relay
The McGaw children are taking part in the Fun Run Relay

This Father’s Day will be a memorable one for John McGaw and his three children.

The 38-year-old was diagnosed with motor neurone disease in 2015 and life has changed completely for all the family since.

Despite living a stone’s throw from Liam, 15, Aillie, 12, and nine-year-old Blaine, John has seen them just a handful of times since lockdown began, forced to keep his distance while he self-isolates.

But today will be a happier occasion, as he joins with his kids in Castle Douglas to take part in MND Scotland’s Fun Run Relay to mark Global MND Awareness Day.

John’s children will complete 10km, while he has vowed to accompany them on a kilometre of the event.

John with son Blaine

He said: “I am so proud of my kids, not only in doing this, but for how they cope day-to-day with my MND. I think this is what they need. Everything is about awareness and kids – doing it raises awareness that they are affected by MND too, not just me.

“I’m self-isolating so it’s been tough not seeing them every day. Very tough. I get emotional just thinking about it. All I want is to reach out and hug them, but I can’t. This Fun Run Relay will be something special for us to do together.

“When the kids said they were running I asked to be part of it. One kilometre may not be much to others, but I reckon it will take anything between three to six hours for me. I will complete it, even if it takes longer.”

Liam, John’s eldest son, said: “Over the last five years, things have changed so much for us all. The little things you take for granted, like kicking a ball with your dad, to the big things like going away on holiday, we can’t do them now.

“This is the first time we’ve felt able to raise money for MND.  We have grown up dealing with our dad getting more poorly and it’s something we wanted to do that was fun and that we can do together.”

MND Scotland decided to transform its annual fun run near Glasgow into a national relay race from John O’Groats to Gretna, with fundraisers pledging to take on as many of the 361 miles as possible.


The family is fundraising at justgiving.com/fundraising/suziedoch