We’re doing it for Megan

GOING THE EXTRA MILE: Mark and Steve Arnold, have pledged to run the Edinburgh Marathon after reading about Megan's story in the Free Press.
GOING THE EXTRA MILE: Mark and Steve Arnold, have pledged to run the Edinburgh Marathon after reading about Megan's story in the Free Press.

TWO brothers have been inspired to run a marathon after hearing about four-year-old Megan Roper and our appeal to help the yongster.

Steve and Mark Arnold, who both live in Great Cornard, will be competing in the Edinburgh Marathon next month and have chosen to raise money towards the Free Press appeal to help raise £20,000 which will transform the toddler’s life.

The pair are currently half way through a 16-week training programme and have been running more than 40 miles a week, with Steve, from Highbury Way, already on his third set of trainers.

“We have been saying for a couple of years that we would like to do a marathon and have tried to gain a place in the London Marathon but have always been unsuccessful,” said the 36-year-old.

“We ended up getting into Edinburgh and were contemplating running for a national charity before we read Megan’s story in the Free Press.

“As we both have children, we realised what a difference running for Megan could make.”

Megan, who lives in Swanfield, Long Melford, with her parents Carl and Sarah and older sister Ruth, was born with a mystery condition which leaves her with crippling disabilities.

Her family needs to raise £20,000 to convert their home to include a lift, specially adapted bathroom and sensory area, to make everyday tasks more manageable.

Mark, who lives in Church Road and has two sons, Louie, seven, and Calum, four, said despite only recently hearing of the family’s struggles, he believed he was taking on 26.2 miles for a worthy cause.

“I had never heard of the family but the story made me want to do something and I see this as an opportunity to help a local cause and really see the benefits of what the money raised can do,” said the 32-year-old.

The duo have already managed to raise around £800 in sponsorship and, despite it being the first time either has ever ran a marathon, Steve said sibling rivalry would not be an issue.

“We have had an incredible response and that is because this is such a fantastic cause,” he said.

“I am not worried about my time or who wins, I just want to get round and I’m sure thinking about Megan will give us the extra impetus to spur us on when things get tough.”

The Edinburgh marathon takes place on May 27. To sponsor the brothers, contact the Free Press on 01787 375271.