COMEDIAN Alan Shortt and Irish race walker Alex Wright will put on their walking shoes to help launch the 4th annual ‘Make Your Mark on Cancer’ charity walk, which takes place from the The Viaduct to Bandon on Sunday, July 17th, in aid of The Mercy Cancer Appeal.
The walk starts at The Viaduct Inn and ends in the Town Hall, Bandon, with a starting point in Innishannon for those who want a shorter route. Registration is open now at www.makeyourmark.ie.
The 22km walk, which was started in memory of Cork man, Mark Prendergast, who lost his battle with testicular cancer in June 2012, is organised annually by a small group of Mark’s family and friends who are committed to making a difference, raising funds and awareness for cancer patients and their families from all over Munster.
Funds raised this year will go towards the cost of developing the Foundation’s new Cancer Care Centre which is expected to cost in excess of €1m.
This Centre will provide a space and a place close to Mercy University Hospital for people diagnosed with cancer, to support them along their cancer journey. This centre will offer Mercy patients as well as their families and friends the practical, emotional and social support that people with cancer needs.
Monies raised will also be used to purchase iPads for St Therese’s Ward. iPads are currently playing an important role in the cancer treatment setting in many cancer hospitals around the world.
These iPads will be preloaded with books, games, popular news, entertainment and newspaper apps, as well as a full library of music and movies and information about all aspects of cancer. The use of the iPad is two-fold: it provides current and relevant information about all aspects of cancer, and it offers entertainment. They will be made available to all patients and their family members during patient visits.
‘Many patients can spend up to six hours in an infusion chair, with limited mobility. Patients currently have access to a television and newspapers in the Day Unit, but this is an extra way to help entertain patients and pass the time. We hope that it will make the time in treatment go faster for patients,’ said Micheál Sheridan, chief executive of the Mercy Hospital Foundation. Over 630 people participated in the charity walk last July, raising €44,100 for the Mercy Hospital Foundation’s Cancer Care Centre, bringing the total raised since its inception to almost €160,000.
Fiona Curran, Mark’s widow and member of the ‘Make Your Mark on Cancer’ organising committee said: ‘This is our 4th walk and we are so proud of what has been achieved. We have donated money to St Therese’s oncology ward, the Rapid clinic and the Testicular Cancer Awareness Programme. We are asking all our supporters to make an extra effort this year to ‘Make a Mark on Cancer’ in Cork.’
Damien Prendergast, Mark’s brother and member of the organising committee said ‘The person who gets a cancer diagnosis goes into free fall directly after … not knowing about their options, how and if they will be able to continue with the things we take for granted like work, relationships, parenting etc. ‘We are aiming to support and help these people and their families by offering them a place to go for information, help, and support. At the darkest moments we need to show there is light at the end of the tunnel, or at the very least they will be supported and assisted on their journey,’ he said.
Carol Crean, also on the organising committee, thanked all the sponsors. ‘Without the generous donations and support of Red FM, AceSigns, McCarthy Coaches, Caulfield’s SuperValu, Dessi Electrical, Lidl (Bandon) O’Sullivan’s Centra, The Viaduct Inn, and our other sponsors, ‘Make Your Mark on Cancer’ would not be possible.’
Everyone is welcome to join the walk. Registration is at www.makeyourmark.ie or via 086 4542132.
See also www.mercyfundraising.ie.