Streaking Meerkats take on the Sheffield Half Marathon

Science Meerkat

Karen Beck, Section Administrator in DTS will be running the Sheffield Half Marathon on Sunday 6 April 2014 as part of a team of over 30 runners, some of whom are also members of staff and students at The University of Sheffield.

Karen and her team mates are being led by a neuroscientist and a lab coat wearing meerkat who are limbering up for this year’s Sheffield Half Marathon.

The Streaking Meerkats have been brought together by Dr Emily Goodall, (32) a scientist at the Sheffield Institute for Translational Neuroscience (SITraN), and her trusty sidekick and Team Captain - Mo LeCule the meerkat.

The team are running for the South Yorkshire branch of the Motor Neurone Disease Association as well as raising vital funds for new equipment at SITraN, where Emily has been conducting research into potential causes of the terminal illness for over six years. They aim to raise £10,000.

Emily and her sister Helen (31) lost their father, David Goodall, to the disease when they were still teenagers. Friends and colleagues have rallied to support Emily, and her sister is flying nearly 10,000 miles from Australia to take part in the challenge which starts at Don Valley Bowl on 6th April.

Emily says, “My dad was told that MND was a progressive disability that meant he would lose the use of his muscles, there was no cure and that he probably had between 2-5 years left to live. He was just 50 years old. The diagnosis was a terrible shock and the Motor Neurone Disease Association were indispensable, providing essential support for the whole family.

Working in MND research has helped me come to terms with what happened to my dad and given me immense hope that the mystery of MND can be solved and treatments found.

Mo LeCule comes with me everywhere I go. I find that having him as our mascot engages people and makes the topic just that little bit less intimidating to talk about. Will he streak the marathon finishing line? We’ll find out on the day!”

Streaking Meerkats

Helen says, “As soon as I heard Emily was taking on the half marathon challenge I looked up flight details; I wanted to be there to support the research at SITraN and the Motor Neurone Disease Association’s brilliant work to support patients.”

Jane Evans, Sheffield resident and Regional Care Advisor for the MND Association, has also joined the Streaking Meerkat team. She said, “When I heard about the team Emily was putting together I knew I had to take part. Without the amazing support of people like Emily and Helen the Motor Neurone Disease Association simply would not be able to provide the vital support services and fund research to find a cure. Together we are making a real difference for people affected by this devastating disease.”

If you would like to support the Streaking Meerkats you can do so at http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/team/StreakingMeerkats.