Psychotherapist Orna O'Beirne will take part in the Vhi Women’s Mini Marathon to raise funds for the Irish Motor Neurone Disease Association.
My mum Clare had a lot of love to give, and nothing made her happier than being around those she loved. My favourite memory of her from my childhood was during the summer when I would be playing tennis with my brothers and dad and Mum would join in. It is a fond memory of what togetherness as a family is about. Also being with Mum during the summer in the garden - the things I remember most with fondness are such simple things, but when someone is no longer here mean so much. Before she was diagnosed with motor neurone disease in December 2011 nothing made her happier than playing golf and gardening. Golf was her passion, so much so she managed to keep playing periodically for a little shy of a year – even coming in third in a competition during that time. Throughout mum’s illness the Irish Motor Neuron Disease Association and Professor Hardiman of Beaumont Hospital were very encouraging. Naturally we knew with MND there was only one outcome, but giving hope in what is a stark reality is priceless. They helped carry some of the burden of the journey mum was on. Mum also utilised the services from the local HSE, and hospice home care team. The support of Mum’s two carers was invaluable. As well as providing the care which mum needed, Mum also enjoyed their company and friendship. I have taken part in the Vhi Women’s Mini Marathon since 2012. I enjoy it as not only is it about me doing the mini marathon for Mum and the IMNDA, but it’s also is about comradeship, where everyone is doing it for causes close to their heart. There really is a sense of belonging and spirit during the Vhi Women’s Mini Marathon. Last year was the most challenging one yet, as Mum had only passed a very short time before on March 9th. There were times the tears threatened during the course, but I knew if they came during the race I would not be able to complete it. Every time the tears came close I was saying to myself ‘this is for you mum’. Approaching the finish line was quite overwhelming, as it was what my fundraising endeavours were for. The tears then came as I crossed the finish line. Last year more so than any other year was for Mum, I could feel her with me every step of the way. Having a loved one not being able to communicate or give a hug was definitely one of the most challenging things throughout Mum’s illness, both for her and for me. I still remember the last hug Mum gave me, even though was a partial hug due to her limitations and I intend to do the Vhi Women’s Mini Marathon for IMNDA for as long as I am able.
For more information see IMNDA.ie