TWELVE women whose lives or bodies have been touched by cancer bared their bodies and souls in Castleconnell for charity.
On Saturday at 6.30am the ‘top secret’ dip in the nip took place at Castleconnell Boat Club and was captured by local photographer Peter O’Donnell.
The idea came from some of the local ladies seeing the organisers of the Sligo event on the Miriam O’Callagahan show.
Maura Turner, from Corbally, said most of the are ladies involved with the country market in Clonara.
“I got a text about it from Gobnait Kelly, who was the driving force behind it, and we all thought it would be a fantastic thing to do to raise money for cancer research,” said Maura, who along with Gobnait has beaten cancer.
“Some of the participants had gone through surgery and treatment while others had lost relatives or friends through breast or other forms of cancer. But this was a morning of fun, of solidarity, of laughter. Modesty got the ‘bums rush’,” laughed Maura.
She said the romantic idea of a dip in the all together in waters lit up by the rising sun were dashed as it was cold and rainy.
“We had to go in bit by bit as it was a bit slippy. The ideal scenario would have been to run in and have the photographer take the picture from the rear of our rears! It was quite exhiliarating and there was a sense of euphoria to have done this and overcome our inhibitions. Some of the women had never met before but we chatted and laughed like old friends, as if swimming in the Mediterranean,” said Maura.
The aim of the dip was to fundraise for the Mid-West breast cancer unit in the Regional and of course to highlight the need for both men and women to have a regular breast check. Twenty two men are diagnosed with breast cancer each year.
They raised around €1,500 in the space of a week.
“We were treated very well in the Regional and wanted to put something back in to the breast cancer unit. It was a well guarded secret but everybody who heard about it thought it was a great idea. It was such a big success we defintely want to make it an annual event,” said Maura, who added that they are also considering organsing a men’s one as well next June.
Maura said the whole event was a real team effort between all the ladies and thanked photographer Peter O’Donnell; Castleconnell Boat Club for opening their doors so early; the Castle Oaks Hotel for hosting a scrumptious breakfast and their sponsors.
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