AN OTLEY family have raised thousands in memory of a much-loved husband and father - for a cause close to their hearts.

Jon O’Neil, who was Head of Maths at Harrogate High School, died after collapsing from a brain haemorrhage on April 9, 2018.

The 47 year old’s death, in the words of his widow Beth, changed his family’s life forever.

This year, exactly 12 months later, Beth and her sons Will (16) and Matt (13) took part in the 11.5 mile Be A Hero run from Otley to Leeds.

Jon was a successful organ donor and the run has raised £2,750 for the Donor Family Network and the Be A Hero Yorkshire campaign.

The Network* works to raise awareness of organ and tissue donation and supports families who are involved, while the Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust’s Be A Hero campaign aims to encourage more people to join the donor register.

Beth, Will and Matt were joined by some 50 friends and relatives - including Jon’s parents, Pat and Eric, for the last few miles - in what they described as an ‘incredible’ display of support.

Among those joining them was Hannah Lupton whose late husband, motorcyclist Gavin*, was also an organ donor following a fatal crash in Northern Ireland in 2017.

Beth said: “The run was amazing.

“I had originally decided just to go on a run that day to clear my head and to try not to think about the day the year before, but it grew and grew until we had nearly 50 friends and family running or walking with us!

“The support we had was incredible, as was the fundraising.

“I had put £500 down as a target and we smashed it.

“We are truly grateful for all the donations and lovely messages. They really did help us and put a smile on my sons’ faces.”

The cause can still be supported by donating at .

On the website, Beth gives more details about her inspiration for the run and how Jon’s organs have helped to improve and save lives.

She said: “On April 9, 2018 our lives changed forever when Jon was rushed to hospital having collapsed from a brain haemorrhage.

“The idea of running the route from Otley to Leeds was simply because I needed to do something positive to help get through the first anniversary.

“It is a route that the ambulance took, but also where Jon and I met and took part in a few Otley Runs.

“Jon had already signed up to the Donor Register and, knowing what his wishes were, we had no hesitation in agreeing to him being a donor.

“Four people have benefited from his organ donation including a 23 year old with a new and special heart.

“Whilst it an was incredibly difficult time it felt positive that Jon was going on to do something else.”

*Mr Lupton was posthumously honoured last year for providing a life-saving organ donation, when his family were presented with the Order of St John Award for Organ Donation on his behalf.