Taff Story & Start of NY Run
My name is PC Mark ‘Taff’ Edwards and I am a serving police officer with the Metropolitan Police Service. For the past 11 years I have been organising fund raising trips to New York to help raise money for children who have cancer. Jack’s PACK – Police Against Cancer in Kids – are the fundraising team of ‘The JACK Foundation’ (Joining Against Cancer in Kids) which was set up during Jack Brown’s fight against the childhood cancer Neuroblastoma.
Just over 7 years ago a little boy called Jack, aged 7, lost his battle against this terrible disease that continues to affect over 100 children a year in the UK. Jack’s mum and dad are our colleagues, Det. Insp. Yvonne Brown and Det. Sgt. Richard Brown from the Met.
11 years ago I started a Late Turn Shift and read about Jack’s plight on our intranet. I read that Jack was suffering from a cancer called Neuroblastoma and if he did not get treatment in New York, he would die. So I picked up the phone and donated fifty quid hoping it would make me feel a bit better. It did – for about 5 minutes. I was quite literally moved to tears reading about Jack – more so as I have a son of the same age and another son called Jack. That evening after work, and with the benefit of a few pints, a colleague and I decided to do something else to raise money – run the New York Marathon, in uniform.
In November we flew to the Big Apple and ran the 26 + miles and raised £4000. The next year we decided to do something bigger and better to be able to pay for more treatment. 16 of us completed a 230-mile bike ride from New York to Rhode Island. Jack and his mum came with us and we raised £76,000 for his treatment. And so it continued. We now have our own charity and our aim is to raise funds for research into this disease and to assist children get treatment abroad when there is no option in the UK. The main purpose of our events is to raise money and awareness. We lost Jack but his legacy lives on. Everyone in the Met Police knows Jack Brown.
So every May, 80 – 100 of us from the Metropolitan Police, Essex Police, British Transport Police, Surrey Police, The Ministry of Defence Police, Cambridgeshire Police, Merseyside Police, and London Fire Brigade and numerous county forces leave for New York where we are joined by members of the New York Police Department (NYPD), New York Fire Department (NYFD), and US military personnel. We complete a Half Marathon, in uniform, in Central Park and we attempt to Pull a Plane – an Airbus A320 to be exact, faster that any of our law enforcement colleagues in New York. Every officer pays for his/her own airfare and hotel accommodation and commits to raising at least £350 in sponsorship. To date we have raised over half a million pounds.
Kind regards to you all for looking at our web site.
PC Mark ‘Taff’ Edwards MBE