Belfast Telegraph

Home Life

Relatively speaking: We chat to DJ Sonya Mac and her mum

We ask personalities about the special family relationships in their lives.

Name: Sonya Mac

Occupation: Cool FM DJ

Relationship to Rosemary: Daughter

It's incredible that after six months of non-stop planning it is all over. I've got the Berlin and New York Marathons to do and a fundraising Ladies Driving Day in September and that will be the full list of events completed.

People have been amazing the way they have come out and supported the marathons and so far we have raised £12,000, with a lot more to come in, which is brilliant.

My entire year has been about cancer research and mum has been behind me all the way. She thought I was crazy when I first told her what I planned to do.

She has watched me do marathons in the past and knew what it takes but she completely understood why I wanted to do it and she has been very supportive.

Mum distributed collection tins and visited shops and business trying to get raffle prizes.

She also helped organise flyers and t-shirts and hoodies and came with me to help mark out some of the routes beforehand. She hasn't stopped either.

During the marathons she was in the control car with the emergency radio and phone and it was her job to give help where it was needed. She was like central control.

The anniversary of dad's death fell in the middle of the runs and we went to the grave together. Macathon has given us both a focus in the past year since we lost him.

I don't think I could have done it without mum, she has been fantastic and all the other people and friends who have put so much time into helping me.

It has been tough, there is no doubt about it. I've been running to the 13-mile mark and then if I have to walk, I do so, although my fifth marathon was my fastest.

I'm going to go on to a beach for a week and relax now and think about the next two marathons and the Ladies Driving Day and maybe another challenge. Everybody keeps asking 'What next?'

Name: Rosemary

Occupation: Retired

Relationship to Sonya: Mother

I felt very proud of Sonya when she told me what she was planning and I admired her for thinking about taking on something so huge in memory of her dad. I know he would have been very proud of her as well.

I did worry that she was taking on too much, especially having to organise everything herself. I really don't know how she has done it but she has come through it so well.

She wanted to do it in her dad's memory and raise a lot of money for cancer research and hopefully find a cure for it.

It's just a pity that she had to do this in his memory and that he wasn't here to see it.

It was great to see how other people supported her and helped her as she has worked tremendously hard every day for the past six months.

I've been like the gofer. I helped her where I could and drove the support car supplying the riders and runners, including Sonya.

Sonya is a great support to me as well. It has given us both something to focus on and I don't know what we would have done otherwise. It's meant we have spent a lot of time together.

Sonya was very close to her dad and he would have done anything for her. He used to say when he retired that he was going to sort her garden and her glass-house out and do so much for her.

She was good to both of us, always surprising us with special gifts, like a Caribbean cruise which she gave us as a joint birthday and Christmas present.

She also bought me two evening dresses to wear on the cruise and a tux for her Dad who said: 'That's lovely, but I would never wear that'. He ended up wearing it during the entire cruise and was so proud.

We both miss him very much, but now that the marathons are over I will be helping Sonya with the Ladies Driving Challenge. I will be there to do whatever she needs me to!

Tragic loss inspired fundraising

As well as running the six marathons across Northern Ireland, Sonya completed the London Marathon this year and plans to do the New York and Berlin Marathons in aid of Cancer Research.

Last year she spoke to the Belfast Telegraph about her final few days with her dad and how his death helped galvanise her.

"We didn't know how ill he was at that stage and neither did he," she says of taking him to watch her participate in the Race for Life fundraising event.

"A couple of days later he started to go downhill very quickly. At that point we hadn't been told how advanced it was. He lost consciousness a week later and died on June 10, eight days after being at Race for Life and two weeks after being taken into hospital for a routine operation.

"It was a big shock, but we knew in the end it was better for him to go rather than suffer."

Belfast Telegraph


From Belfast Telegraph