THE short life of a beautiful young Kanturk woman who passed away 18 months ago at the age of 22 was commemorated at the weekend by her family, relatives, friends, and members of her local community through a series of fundraising initiatives which will benefit the Family Heart Screening Clinic at the Mater Hospital in Dublin.
Sally McCabe, of the well known McCabe Family Fruit Farm in Ballymaquirke, Kanturk, was studying pharmacy at Aberdeen University in Scotland when she passed away suddenly as a result of Sudden Adult Death Syndrome.
Sally's brother, Dan, explained to The Corkman how after Sally's untimely death the whole family had to be tested for the rogue gene which causes the syndrome "as there is a pretty high chance that another family member could be affected".
Because the condition can be averted through proper detection and treatment, Dan and the local community around Ballymaquirke have since pulled out all the stops in their quest to raise money for the Mater Foundation.
Dan, his brother Luke, and two of their friends undertook the full 26 miles of the Cork city marathon on Monday, while college friends, members of Kanturk Rugby Club, Dromtariffe Football Club, and some of Sally's friends from Aberdeen made up over 20 teams which participated in the relay.
After the marathon, Jack McCarthy Butchers sponsored a slap-up meal and barbeque at Kanturk Rugby Club for all the participants.
Meanwhile, pupils and staff at Dromagh National School, which Sally attended, held a very successful coffee morning/cake sale/fun day last Friday during which they also raised €680 for the Mater Foundation.
Experts estimate that at least one young Irish person under the age of 35 dies each week from Sudden Adult Death Syndrome and the vast majority suffer absolutely no symptoms prior to their deaths.
The Family Heart Screening Centre opened at the Mater Hospital in Dublin in 2007 and continues to provide a full screening facility for immediate family members of victims of Sudden Adult Death Syndrome (SADS).