CHRISTMAS day 2022 saw the 10th, and final, annual Christmas Swim take place at Myrtleville Beach, in memory of Carrigaline teenager Danny Crowley, who sadly passed away after a tough battle with leukaemia in 2013.
Every year since then, Danny’s friends and family have braved the water to raise vital funds for the Mercy Hospital Foundation’s Kids & Teens Appeal.
At the Cork International Hotel Community Spirit Awards, held at Cork International Hotel last month, Danny’s family and friends gathered to announce that the 2022 swim raised €24,002.60 bringing the total funds raised over the 10 years of the event to a phenomenal €177,000.
After Danny passed away, his friends and family set up the Danny Crowley Christmas Swim as their way to remember him, while at the same time raising funds for the Mercy Kids & Teens Appeal, and in particular the Paediatric Outreach Oncology Nursing Service (POONS), which supports Cork’s youngest cancer patients.
POONS allows the Mercy University Hospital to deliver a home-based option to children like Danny, which enhances their quality of life and allows for some normalisation of family life during cancer treatment. It also means there is a reduction in hospital admissions, and promotes early discharge from the hospital.
Danny’s mom, Majella spoke about the difference the funds raised can make.
‘POONS and the entire team in the Children’s Leukaemia unit provided invaluable support to Danny and our family when Danny was undergoing his treatment. ‘They went the extra mile, and we all appreciated the huge difference it made. The funds raised through the swim over the last 10 years ensure that families who find themselves in similar situations, have the support to help them on what is an incredibly difficult journey for any family to undertake,’ said Majella.
Olga Buckley, paediatric oncology/haematology CNS in the Mercy University Hospital, who is one of the POONS team, said the funds raised by Danny’s family and friends over the last decade ‘have made a tremendous difference to so many lives, and we would like to thank them from the bottom of our hearts.’
‘It costs the Mercy Hospital Foundation €30,000 each year to continue to keep this service mobile, and the Danny Crowley Christmas Swim has gone a huge way to ensuring this happens. Funds raised mean that POONS has continued to provide immeasurable support for some of Cork’s youngest patients and their families, with 45 families using the service in 2021 alone, with over 550 home visits carried out,’ she said.
Majella added: ‘What started with about 40 swimmers in 2013, saw more than 500 swimmers brave the water annually in recent years. We are so proud of what has been achieved, and want to extend a massive thank you to anyone who supported the event over the last 10 years raising a staggering €177,000.’