independent

Thursday 18 September 2014

Five-mile ribbon chain for Caroline

Mary Fogarty

Published 12/03/2014 | 05:22

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The late Caroline Dwyer

PRIMARY school teacher Caroline Dwyer Hickey died almost a year ago after a brave nine-year battle with cancer.

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Primary school teacher Caroline Dwyer Hickey died almost a year ago after a brave nine-year battle with cancer.

The Greystones native was aged just 35 when she passed away last March, having been diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 26. Despite the spread of the cancer and deterioration in her condition, Caroline remained bright and positive throughout her illness. 'She never lost hope,' said her mum Helen.

On Sunday May 11 at 12 noon, 4,000 people are expected to take part in a record-breaking attempt to make a five-mile ribbon chain along the cliff walk.

The 39,000 bands of ribbon will stretch from the Bandstand in Bray to the South Beach in Greystones.

Helen O'Sullivan-Dwyer is the woman leading the way on this. She is the Chair of 'The Caroline Foundation', established to support the work of Professor John Crown and the Cancer Clinical Research Trust.

The money raised will be used to sponsor researcher Dr. Norma O'Donovan, as well as the cancer support centres in both Bray and Greystones.

Helen said that research is vital and something Caroline supported wholeheartedly. 'So many advances have already been made in the past 10 years,' said Helen, who believes Caroline's life was made longer because of clinical trials and medications to which she had access.

'She never gave up,' said Helen, adding that the teacher lived life to the fullest. She went to rugby matches, Wimbledon, swam with the dolphins and more and worked until just a few months before her death.

The management and staff of St. Brigid's in Glasnevin were hugely supportive of their talented teacher, who worked there for 10 years.

The school has appointed an artist to facilitate the creation of a large memorial mosaic. All 460 students and 20 staff at the national school will be involved the project to brighten up their playground with a permanent artwork in memory of Caroline.

Meanwhile, volunteers are being sought to hold the ribbon to build the chain on May 11. Everyone will be allocated their sectors so there will be no confusion at the event. A minimum donation of €10 is asked for by the foundation.

In addition, businesses are invited to sponsor markers along the route and of course any and all donations will be very welcome.

The white bands of 10 inches will be printed and sewn together by PWL in Bray. 'We've been amazed by the support,' said Helen, who said Heatons in Greystones will provide t-shirts while Tesco in Greystones are providing water. John Nugent of Wicklow Airfield will send a helicopter along to get an aerial view of the chain.

To find out more, make a donation or help in any way go to thecarolinefoundation.com.

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