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Political Tees pair in the running for Ella.

Two former Teessiders could be jogging through the corridors of Whitehall as they train for a marathon run.

Ed Owen and Mark Davies are launching a campaign to raise pounds 100,000 for cystic fibrosis research by running next year's Flora London Marathon. And their bid is backed by Tony Blair.

Ed - a special adviser to Foreign Secretary Jack Straw and whose daughter Ella has the life-threatening disease - and Mark - a political reporter at BBC News Online - will run the 26 miles for Cystic Fibrosis Trust.

Both men, who grew up in Eaglescliffe and attended Egglescliffe Comprehensive, will be running with friend Justin Russell, one of Tony Blair's policy advisers.

The Running for Ella campaign is inspired by one-year-old Ella, one of the 7,500 children and young adults in the UK who suffer from the genetic condition.

Ed, 36, who lived on Albert Road, Eaglescliffe, said: "Ella has improved our lives immeasurably since she was born last year.

"She looks, behaves and sounds like every other girl of her age, but requires daily drugs and physiotherapy and has a life expectancy of just over 30 years.

"So, like other families affected by the condition, we are desperately hoping that a cure can be found soon."

Little Ella even met the Prime Minister earlier this month in Downing Street.

Mr Blair said: "I'm delighted to offer my support to the Running for Ella team in their campaign to bring hope to children and young people suffering from cystic fibrosis."

Mark, also 36, is a big Boro fan and regular visitor to the Riverside Stadium. He grew up on Dunottar Avenue, and his parents now live in Thirsk, North Yorks.

The pair both left Teesside around 1990, and now work only yards from each other in London - Ed at the Foreign Office on Whitehall and Mark in Millbank next to the Houses of Parliament.

Mark, who raised pounds 1,000 running in the Great North Run, said: "We have started our training now, but we have a long way to go."

The campaign was being officially launched today at a reception at the Foreign Secretary's official residence in London.

Jack Straw and Sir David Frost will be joining politicians, journalists and celebrities for the event.

For more information visit or email

Money can be donated online or send a cheque, payable to Cystic Fibrosis Trust, to: Running for Ella c/o Cystic Fibrosis Trust, 11 London Road, Bromley, Kent BR1 1BY.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2003 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:News Local
Publication:Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)
Date:Nov 26, 2003
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