Big thank you from

Ruby inspires dad to race for Tinylife

James McKernan who is running in the Lisburn Half Marathon for Tiny Life pictured with his daughter Ruby. US2209-114A0A LISBURN man, whose wife gave birth to a baby girl ,10 weeks early, is donning his running shoes to raise money for TinyLife, the premature and vulnerable baby charity, by taking part in the Lisburn Marathon.

James McKernan will celebrate the early arrival of baby daughter Ruby by running the half marathon with best pal, Paul Prentice on Wednesday June 17.

James and a group of friends took part in a charity skydive back in November 2007, when they managed to raise over £4,000 between them but ironically it wasn't until February 2009 that James actually needed to avail of the charity's vital services. His wife Lyndsey went into premature labour and Ruby was born weighing little more than 3lbs. She spent the first five weeks of her young life between the Intensive Care Unit and the Special Care Baby Unit in the Royal Jubilee Maternity Hospital and later at the Neo Natal Unit at the Ulster Hospital in Dundonald.

Lyndsey contacted TinyLife who provided her with a breast pump which she describes as a 'life-line'. Lyndsey said: "Because Ruby was so premature, I was determined to give her the best start I could but with her spending the first five weeks in hospital, this would have been impossible without the breast pump from TinyLife."

Currently in training for the marathon, James is looking forward to the event and in particular crossing the finishing line.

He said: "TinyLife is a charity that has always been very close to our hearts and now, more than ever I want to help babies like Ruby get the best start possible."

Anyone interested in joining James to raise funds for TinyLife should contact Samara on 90 815050 or via email

Ulster Star