CARNMONEY optician Michael Allen is holding a charity fundraiser in aid of epilepsy research.
Michael is running in the Belfast Marathon in aid of the Jill Sloan Epilepsy Research UK Memorial Fund.
From now until the Marathon on May 6 Michael will donate £2.62 - the 26.2 mile distance of the run in pennies - for every eye exam he carries out in his Mackey Opticians practice on the Carnmoney Road.
The charity was set up in aid of the 34 year old’s sister-in-law, Jill who sadly died after an epilepsy attack in 2002.
Since then her family have fundraised tirelessly for the Epilepsy Research UK charity, raising over £20,000 through the memorial fund, and Michael is hoping to raise another £500 through his latest fundraiser.
Michael can often be seen pounding the roads around the borough as he prepares for his marathon challenge.
He told the Times: “I have been training with the East Antrim Harriers which has been great for helping me get up and go and keep motivated. They are a great group of people and there is no hanging about with them. It’s either keep up or be left behind, which is exactly what I needed.
“My wife Caroline’s sister died from epilepsy 10 years ago and the family have been fundraising ever since and I am delighted to be able to keep that going.
“For every eye exam we do in the practice there will be a donation going straight to the charity. It doesn’t matter if you are entitled to a free eye test or have to pay the £15 fee, the donation will remain the same.
“I think it’s a good initiative and if anyone is thinking of getting their eyes tested, or those of their children, then I would encourage them to call in with us between now and the Marathon on May Day and help a really good cause into the bargain.”
For further information, or to book an appointment call 9084 8973 or visit the opticians at 345 Carnmoney Road.
Alternatively you can support Michael by making a donation online at www.justgiving.com/michael-allen8.