17 employees from two Stagecoach North East bus depots teamed up to take part in a popular coastal 10k race and have raised over £500 for Caring for Kian.
On a gloriously sunny Sunday, staff from the Walkergate depot in Newcastle and the Sunderland bus depot, made up of drivers, duty managers, fitters, administration and operations team members, tackled the tough run along the South Shields coast and cliffs to raise funds for poorly Newcastle youngster, Kian Musgrove.
The charity Caring for Kian was set up for four-year old Kian to help raise funds in his fight against cancer. Kian was diagnosed with stage 4 neuroblastoma in October 2013 and since then has been receiving treatment, including chemotherapy and radiotherapy, at the Royal Victoria Infirmary in Newcastle.
After suffering a recent relapse, and with aggressive treatment, Kian is now almost cancer free but has an 80 percent chance of a further relapse, for which further treatment cannot be offered in the UK. The family has almost built up a fund of just over £600,000 but needs at least £750,000 for pioneering relapse therapy in the United States, which would help to tackle the last remaining areas of cancer and save his life.
Walkergate deputy duty manager Alan Gordon is Kian’s grandfather and has previously completed the run four times for charity, including for grandson Kian and Newcastle charity, Tiny Lives. Alan would have completed his fifth competition this year but as he was on holiday in Spain, he ran his own 10k race in 67 minutes from Benalmadena to Torremolinos on Sunday so he could still take part and raise money.
Alan said: “The team have been tremendous in their efforts for Kian, with fundraising support for the race and dressing up in festive costumes in December. It’s a shame I couldn’t be there to join them on the day but running my own race meant I could take part in the fundraising and be there in South Shields in spirit.
“Kian is a little fighter and is doing well with his treatment. As a family we are delighted with all the support from the team, the company and all the other fundraisers who are helping Caring for Kian.”
Although the group from the local bus operator ran as a team, a friendly rivalry between Newcastle and Sunderland helped to create some healthy competition for the first three finishers of each depot, with Walkergate named the winning team to take the trophy.
Some personal bests were achieved amongst the team, with Nick Monte beating last year’s time of 72 minutes by over 12 minutes, Stu Wright knocking three minutes off to run in 50:53, Glen Crulley went from 62:36 to 60:55, Geoff Willis improving by just under a minute to 53:30 and Julie Baldwin coming in five minutes faster at 82:26.
In addition to the funds raised by the team, Stagecoach North East also continued its support for the Sand Dancer race, by paying the team’s entrance fees and making a further donation of £100.
Phil Medlicott, Managing Director, Stagecoach North East, said: “We were delighted to continue our support for this popular event and proud that so many of our team took part. Our staff in Newcastle and Sunderland, and indeed across the region, are generous in giving their time to help charities and the local community and we are committed to helping them in any way we can.”
To make a donation to Caring for Kian, please visit http://www.kapipal.com/caringforkian. For updates, please follow ‘Caring for Kian’ on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Google+.
For further information about Stagecoach North East please visit www.stagecoachbus.com