Potters Bar entrant running London Marathon to give back to charity raising vital funds

PUBLISHED: 08:24 24 April 2019

Melody McLaren with her husband Ian after she ran the 2015 London Marathon for The National Brain Appeal. Picture: supplied.

Melody McLaren with her husband Ian after she ran the 2015 London Marathon for The National Brain Appeal. Picture: supplied.

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A Potters Bar entrant in this Sunday's London Marathon understands the importance of The National Brain Appeal better than many.

Melody McLaren is running the London Marathon for The National Brain Appeal for the third time. Picture: supplied.Melody McLaren is running the London Marathon for The National Brain Appeal for the third time. Picture: supplied.

Melody McLaren, 61, will run for the third time in support of the charity that raises vital funds for The National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery (NHNN), which has provided “amazing care” for her husband of 35 years, Ian.

Ian, 75, received Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) treatment at the NHNN in 2009 to relieve the symptoms of his Parkinson's disease.

His symptoms were seriously affecting his mobility when he underwent the treatment and his improvement afterwards was dramatic.

Melody said: “It was like the clock was turned back by 10 years.

“By restoring Ian's ability to move, the operation allowed us to once again enjoy jazz music-making, travel, socialising with friends and many other life experiences, which we had thought were lost to us forever.”

This year, Melody is also running the London Marathon in memory of her friend, renowned American physicist Joseph Polchinski, who died from brain cancer last year.

The NHNN is the UK's leading centre of excellence for treating diseases of the brain, spine and nervous system.

Its charity, The National Brain Appeal, has an innovation fund, which enables it to award grants between £50,000 and £150,000 to quickly progress pioneering ideas to improve treatment for people with neurological conditions.

Melody said: “The hospital has been amazing for Ian over the many years that he has been under their care.

“I feel strongly supported by his medical team – aside from our regular appointments, I can email them anytime if I have questions or concerns.”

Melody has been training for the marathon twice a week when carers are looking after Ian and she also has a treadmill at home so she can run and keep an eye her husband at the same time.

She first ran the London Marathon in support of the National Brain Appeal in 2010, shortly after Ian's DBS treatment.

Melody was preparing to run it for a second time in 2014 but, faced with her own serious health challenge, deferred her place to the following year to undergo surgery and chemotherapy for cancer. Remarkably, she resumed training in September 2014.

Melody has raised more than £1,800 for The National Brain Appeal so far, with a target of £2,000.

Visit www.justgiving.com/fundraising/melodymclaren2019 to donate.

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