A father and two of his sons are set to lace up their running shoes and run the London Marathon in memory of the lads’ late grandmother.
Former Chorley GP Clive Barker and sons Tom and Adam – known to friends and family as The Barker Boys – are running the epic 26.2 mile race to raise £10,000 for the Motor Neurone Disease Association (MNDA) in memory of Clive’s mum and the boy’s grandmother, Pauline Barker.
In 2003 Pauline died aged 69 from Motor Nuerone Disease (MND), two years after being diagnosed with the condition.
Clive, 59, who lives in Euxton, said: “When the neurologist told mum, dad, and me about mum having MND the first thing she said was if there is treatment but not readily available, she wanted someone younger to have it.
“That was typical of her she always put people before herself. But it also highlighted how people can get MND from their twenties which is another reason why we are raising money for the Association.
“Mum was very brave and dad [Michael Barker] was very supportive but the help she got could not have been done without the help of the MNDA.”
For Clive and the boys, another reason for their backing of the MNDA comes down to efforts to tackle the root causes of neurologicial conditions like MND.
Clive, who was a GP at Library House Surgery for more than 30 years before retiring in August last year, explained: “One of the reasons we keep raising money is because at the moment cures for some of these neurological condition like multiple sclerosis [MS] and Parkinson’s are proving elusive.
“We haven’t really got any effective treatment for these. MNDA are funding research into stopping these as well as helping people living with the condition.”
Clive is also holding two evenings at Chorley Little Theatre on March 19 and 26 where he will provide an informal take on the life and times of being a GP as well as transferring to being a patient in retirement. It follows on from his self-published book from 20 years ago, A Way of Life and Medicine.
Clive said: “It was a huge privilege to do the job I did and be part of people’s lives for such a long time. All monies from the evenings will also be going to the MNDA because it’s such a worthwhile cause.”
Sons Tom, 29, and Adam, 27, have followed in their dad’s footsteps with careers in healthcare as a doctor training in accident and emergency medicine in Liverpool and a psyiotherapist in London, respectively.
And next year’s London Marathon will be Clive’s last fund-raising campaign for the MNDA, partly due to having diabetes and being diagnosed with an irregular heart rhythm last year, but also because he feels he has ‘asked for more than enough’ from people over the years.
Stockport-native Clive said: “I ran the London Marathon 20 years ago for the Meningitis Research Foundation and 19 years ago for Age Concern.
“People have been so generous over the years; there’s only so much you can ask of people especially in the current economic climate.”