McGee is delighted to announce that its Charity of the Year for 2016 is Joining Jack.
Former Wigan rugby player, Andy Johnson, and wife Alex, set up Joining Jack in 2012 after their son, Jack, was diagnosed in 2011 with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD) – one of the most common fatal genetic conditions in the world. However, recent scientific breakthroughs mean that the development of a treatment is closer than ever, and this will not only help Jack, but all sufferers of DMD.
With the money raised from Joining Jack’s army of supporters, it has been able to fund a vital gene therapy project. Andy and Alex hope a £1million investment made by the charity this year could lead to a cure for every child suffering with DMD.
Explaining why McGee has decided to choose Joining Jack as its Charity of the Year, Brian McGee, Managing Director, said: “We’ve been touched by the news that a little 6 year old boy called Charlie was diagnosed with DMD last year. Charlie is the Grandson of our Health & Safety Director, John Hennessy – whose father worked at McGee in the 70’s and 80’s – and the Son of one of our Machine Drivers, Tom Hennessy.
“Having researched DMD to find out more about Charlie’s diagnosis, we came across Joining Jack. We therefore wanted to make Joining Jack McGee’s Charity of the Year so that we can help children like Jack and Charlie.
“I know that everyone at McGee will get behind this and together we’ll do as much as we can to raise awareness and money for Joining Jack.”
To launch McGee’s support for Joining Jack, one of their lorries has today revealed a new look. The 32 tonne tipper truck, which features the red and black Joining Jack livery across its entire body, has taken to the roads of London to raise awareness of the fantastic charity.
As part of the company’s fundraising efforts, McGee is delighted to be leading an exit collection at this year’s Ascot’s Autumn Racing Weekend & Beer Festival on Friday 30th September. This will involve a number of McGee volunteers manning exits and collecting donations for Joining Jack, which will be a real privilege to be involved in on the day. In addition, on Saturday 1st October, McGee has organised for a horse race to be named after the charity – all in a bid to further raise awareness of Joining Jack and encourage much needed donations to help fund the vital scientific research that is required.
It’s also people who undertake personal challenges that are really helping Joining Jack to make a difference in the fight against DMD.
Charlie’s auntie, Kerry Hennessy, McGee’s Training Manager, has put her running shoes on and committed to running the Wigan 10K on Sunday 4th September.
Kerry said: “Our family has been devastated by the news that we were given concerning Charlie’s health. However, we remain hopeful, and that’s thanks to all of the work that Alex and Andy have done with Joining Jack.
“I’m not one for usually making New Year’s resolutions, but this year I’m going to get in the gym and get Wigan 10K ready, as I want to raise as much money as I can through sponsorships – to help my Nephew Charlie, Jack and all other children suffering with DMD. I’m hoping that some of my friends, family and colleagues will decide to join me – I’d love to lead a team up to Wigan!”
Commenting on McGee’s support for Joining Jack, Alex Johnson said: “We were delighted to be contacted by McGee asking if Joining Jack could be the company’s Charity of the Year. We have been simply overwhelmed by the amount of support from our local community and the sporting world since Andy and I first founded Joining Jack and we are repeatedly amazed by how that support has grown every year since. Our two main aims are to raise as much money as possible to fund research into finding a cure for DMD and to raise awareness of what the boys and their families go through.
“It’s wonderful that Charlie’s family came across the charity and have then gone on to enlist the support of everyone at McGee to support us over the next 12 months. Every penny counts as we try to change the course of the future for Jack, Charlie and all the boys living with this horrible condition. Best of luck to Kerry running the Wigan 10K, it’s a fantastic day and a great event and Jack can’t wait to see the lorry.
“And we’re thrilled to have one of the Ascot races named after the charity, it’s very exciting.”
Hear more about Andy and Alex’s story here
Photo L-R: John Hennessy, Tom Hennessy and Charlie Hennessy pictured as the new JoiningJack lorry is unveiled today!