Membership Secretary Runs Half Marathon

Club Membership Secretary Runs Half Marathon For The Jennifer Trust.

Swallowfield Fishing Clubs membership secretary, Martyn McCarthy ran the Reading Half Marathon this year on the 2nd March to raise money for the Jennifer Trust. This charity for Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA) conducts research into causes, treatments and eventually a cure for the condition. More details can be found on their website,

What follows is Callum's Story as told by his parents.

Callum was born on 7th March 1999 by emergency C-Section  in the Royal Berkshire Hospital. He weighed 5lb 3oz and was put in a high dependancy room in Buscott Ward where he stayed until we recieved  the news that he was suffering from Spinal Muscular Atrophy. He underwent test after test and, as any parent with a poorly child knows, a feeling of helplessness takes over - just a little person there and nothing that mummy or daddy  could do to help. After twelve days the doctors asked us and a few close relatives into a room to dicuss his illness. You always think "he's going to be ok, they can help", He wouldn't, they couldn't. he would not come home.

We arranged for him to be christened in the hospital and the next day arranged for all who needed to come and see him. The doctors had explained that he would never get better, only worse and with no time limit. They left us to decide whether to turn off the machines keeping him alive and although it was our hardest ever decision, we said yes. We know we did the right thing by Callum. He wouldn't close his eyes at all that night as if he knew something was going on. We desperately wanted him to sleep before we left. Callum's two Grandads stayed with him, it was our choice that they would be the ones with him when the time came. Everyone is different and that was one thing that we as Callum's parents could not do.

Callum died on 19th March and his funeral was a few days later. He had hundreds of flowers and there were apparently lots of people there, but i cannot remember. All i remember was his little white coffin and thinking that i would never stop crying. After Callum died we couldn't go back home, all his things were there, clothes, toys, cot. Callum's Nan and other family members helped to tidy up before we went home but it was never the same.

I fell pregnent again and was told by the Jennifer Trust about tests that culd be carried out to ensure that the next child did not suffer the same problem. Sadly this baby was, and we decided on a termination. We were desperate for another baby and again I fell pregnent only to sadly suffer an incomplete miscarriage.

I went back to work and we coped with the loss of Callum and the other pregnancies in our own ways. While at work I kept being ill but thought it was a stomach bug that the other people were off with and carried on. I soon found out that i was pregnant again. I contacted the consultant that I was under at the hospital and was booked in for an early scan and the relevant tests.

The scan showed I was expecting twins and the results of the first twin soon came back showing "no problem", the results for the second were delayed. We were desperately woried. What if one was healthy and the other not?. A few days later the consultant phoned to give us the good news. Both were healthy.

Our twin girls Tori & Taylor were born on 29th March 2001 and now at nearly 7 years old are doing well at school. We are eternally gratefull for our two beautiful girls but will never forget Callum and will always be grateful to the Jennifer Trust for their help and support.

We hope this story will encourage you to do whatever you can to help the Trust to help others.

Thank you.

It was decided by the SFC committee that all of the funds raised from this years charity match should also go to this worthy cause along with the sponsorship money raised by Martyn on his run.

Martyn completed the 13 mile course in 2hrs 41mins and to date has raised in excess of £600.00. Hopefully with the money raised from the charity match later this year and any other donations we can raise this figure by a lot more. Many thanks to those who have sponsored Martyn so far. The final figure will be updated in due coarse.