OVER 100 gardai have raised close to €5,000 after taking part in the Great Limerick Run this year to aid a charity for sick children.
In all, €4,883 was raised through the run in May and through a coffee morning held in Henry Street garda station earlier this summer for the Bumbleance charity.
Garda Shane Hayes, a keen marathon runner, explained that the run was in memory of a six year-old girl, Aishlinn Quaid, who died last year and in solidarity to her dad and their colleague Eamonn Quaid, who works in Henry Street garda station.
“We didn’t have a fundraising target in mind when we set out to do this, but to raise that amount was brilliant and we hope to build on that again next year,” said Garda Hayes,
Gardai from across Limerick, and from north and south of the border, ran in memory of Aishlinn, from Ballysimon, who was diagnosed with a brain tumour at just ten weeks old, and passed away last November after bravely battling her illness.
Parents Eamonn and Marie, who both serve with the Army Reserve, were left devastated by the loss of their only child, but remain thankful to the new Bumbleance charity, which helped to make her smile on several journeys to hospital in Dublin.
Eamonn, 37, said while “it’s not a life saving service”, the difference it made to him, his wife and their daughter was invaluable.
He said Aishlinn, who spent periods of time in five hospitals across the country, loved travelling in the Bumbleance, watching the Balamory children’s programme on her iPad as they travelled up to hospital in Dublin.
“It’s a great way to distract and entertain children on their way to hospital, and take away the stress of the experience. It’s a great stress-reliever for all the families who have to make that journey, and just makes life that little bit easier, ” he said.
Launched last September, Bumbleance provides a professional medical transport in a fun environment, for children who are long-term sick or seriously disabled who require ambulance transportation from their homes to their treatment centres. The free service, which was set up by Tony and Mary Heffernan from Kerry, has just one ambulance at present, but depending on donations from the public they hope to acquire more.
Among those who took part in the run was Superintendent Dan Keane, Henry Street station, who said “it’s a hugely important charity.
“We’ve seen first hand the good work that they do. When the children are in the ambulance it distracts them and makes them think about happier things. It’s a fantastic charity, ” he said.
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