HUNDREDS of Southside women joined in the mammoth effort that helped raise €100,000 for Cystic Fibrosis Ireland in the recent VHI Women's Mini-Marathon.
More than 600 women hit the ground running on the June bank holiday and for many there was a very personal reason for crossing the finish line.
They all had one thing in common - either a mother, a father, a brother, a sister, a son, a daughter, a loved one or a friend affected by Cystic Fibrosis (CF).
Ireland has the highest prevalence and some of the most severe types of CF in the world with more than 1,200 men, women and children living with CF here.
Cystic Fibrosis Ireland depends on voluntary fundraising and public donations to fund 95 per cent of its services, and the mini-marathon is one of its biggest annual fundraising endeavours.
In taking part in the event, these brave and determined ladies had just one goal in mind. It was to raise €100,000 for CF services, including support for dedicated CF staff in hospitals, patient support grants in areas such as transplant assessment and fertility treat-ment, and research.
One celebrity getting her running shoes on this year for Cystic Fibrosis Ireland was campaign ambassador and TV3 Red Rock actress Róisín O'Donovan.
For Róisín, taking part in the mini-marathon, and in particular to support the cystic fibrosis cause, was rather special.
"There is something unique about the atmosphere at the women's mini marathon, and being a part of the biggest all-women's event of its kind in the world,” she said.
“For me, what makes it so special is joining in a purple sea of women who are doing this not for themselves, not for personal achievement, but for others.
“For people with cystic fibrosis, life is tough enough. Taking part in the mini-marathon is one way of making life that little bit easier for them."
For Amanda Donohoe who is this year's San Francisco Rose at the Rose of Tralee Festival, taking part was personal.
"For those of us lucky enough to not have cystic fibrosis, participating in something like the mini-marathon brings home the daily reality for a lot of people with the condition, the breathlessness, the wheezing, the gasping for air.
So, for one day, it's really wonderful to see so many people show their solidarity with people with Cystic Fibrosis across Ireland. My cousin lives every day of his life with Cystic Fibrosis and I see the challenges. I'm delighted to be able to show my support to him and to the wider CF community, and to hopefully raise lots of funds for much-needed Cystic Fibrosis services."
For more information on Cystic Fibrosis Ireland, visit www.cfireland.ie
This article originally appeared in the Southside (Dublin) People on 12 June 2017 and is reproduced here with prior permission.