The Christmas season is renowned for inspiring a giving spirit, but for parents Luke and Michelle Jensen of Westridge and The Ridge Meats, the season has inspired The Ham Run, delivering hams across South-East Queensland in support of charity Jeans for Genes.

The ham plight began when Luke and Michelle’s two-year-old son, Hugh, was diagnosed with a microdeletion of the 6th chromosome, a disease he shares with only 467 people worldwide.

The extremely rare gene disorder set Hugh’s parents Luke and Michelle Jensen on a desperate search for answers, leading them to the Children’s Medical Research Institute.

The answers that the medical professionals gave Luke and Michelle helped to establish a plan for Hugh’s future and treatment, giving a sense of hope to the young family.

“Without this research, we would have continued walking around in the dark, blaming ourselves and not being able to get help for our little boy,” said Michelle.

Luke and Michelle are the owners of Toowoomba’s award-winning butchers, Westridge and The Ridge Meats. Determined to give back to the researchers who helped their family, the couple planned to sell and deliver Christmas hams to raise money for the iconic charity.

Michelle explains that, “five dollars from every ham sold this Christmas goes to Jeans for Genes, which is the main charity initiative that funds the Children’s Medical Research Institute”.

This inspiring act of charity is truly a family affair, with Mark Mingay, Hugh’s Grandfather, behind the wheel of the delivery van this Christmas.

Mark is a long time Toowoomba resident and former pig farmer from New South Wales.

He will definitely be thinking of his little grandson as he drives all over the South East.

“Christmas is such a special time for families to come together,” Mark said.

“So many of the best memories are made around the dinner table, and I’m pleased to be able to deliver the most important part of the meal, the ham!”

For more information on purchasing a ham, visit The Ham Run website, or order in store at Westridge and The Ridge Meats.

Readers also enjoyed this story on the Kmart Wishing Tree Appeal.