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Tuesday 16 October 2018

Irish charity supporting life-changing surgery for children set to break €1m mark

A group of Laurels Charity Crew volunteers on a training cycle for their April fundraiser in aid of vital orthopaedic surgery in Ireland.
A group of Laurels Charity Crew volunteers on a training cycle for their April fundraiser in aid of vital orthopaedic surgery in Ireland.
Ralph Riegel

Ralph Riegel

AN IRISH charity which has helped support life-changing surgery for 100 children is set to break the €1m mark.

Laurels Charity Crew, which was founded in 2008, now aims to surpass €1m in funds raised with its 10th anniversary cycle from Galway to Dublin.

The cycle takes place from April 20-22 and all proceeds raised will go to the Straight Ahead Fund at Crumlin Hospital.

Straight Ahead is a medical support group which provides surgery, support and medical equipment for children battling severe orthopaedic conditions.

Since the Laurels Crew began their cycle 10 years ago, their fundraising has helped 100 Irish children undergo life-changing orthopaedic surgery.

Founded by Damien Long and Denis McCarthy, cyclists now proudly wear a jersey emblazoned with 100 stars to mark the life of each child they have helped.

“We’ve grown in strength over the years and have to date raised in excess of €800,000," Damien explained.

"For our tenth anniversary it would be great to reach the €1m target. The cycle is a huge physical challenge but it really brings people together and helps some of Ireland’s sickest children with life-changing surgeries."

"It’s a great cause and purpose – it’ll certainly make all the sore legs and bums worth it.”

Orthopaedic surgeon and Straight Ahead co-founder, Pat Kiely, said their work depends on charity fundraisers like the Laurels Crew.

“We’ve completed over 125 operations since our beginning in 2011. For children with severe orthopaedic deformities, waiting is simply not an option. The more time they spend on waiting lists the more their pain and discomfort increases,” he said.

In 2008, the Laurels Crew had just 27 cyclists - this year they hope to have more than 400 participants from all over Ireland.

Anyone interested in taking part can get further information by clicking here.

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