Thursday 5 December 2019

WATCH: The heartbreaking reason behind the #Bumbleance Mega Push

The Bumbleance began a journey with a difference today – with a Mega Push.

The fundraising event got underway this morning – and if you want to see why an ambulance is being pushed more than 300kms from Dingle to Dublin, watch our video of the late Liam Heffernan with his parents.

Adventurer and Kerryman Mike O’Shea, who has trekked to the North Pole, was joined by Tony Heffernan, who founded the national children's ambulance service, along with his wife Mary of the Saoirse Foundation and a team of volunteers to help them complete the 355km challenge.

The Bumbleance Mega Push, which aims to raise €250,000 and put two more child-friendly interactive ambulances on the road, was launched by charity patron Miriam O’Callaghan

Read more: Tragic Liam's respite centre to become a hospice

The group will set off from Dingle, Co Kerry, on September 10 and hope reach St Stephen's Green 10 days later. They will push the ambulance over the Conor Pass before going through towns and villages including Castleisland, Adare and Kill before reaching Dublin.

Saoirse Heffernan with her parents Tony and Mary and her brother Liam
Saoirse Heffernan with her parents Tony and Mary and her brother Liam
Liam Heffernan
Liam and Saoirse Heffernan before Batten's Disease took hold.
Liam with his mother Mary Heffernan.
Liam Heffernan

Mike got behind the charity when he heard about the Bumbleance's 'Angel Trips' - the last journey a terminally-ill child will take to or from hospital.

"This was the project for me. All funds raised will go towards the purchase of a new ambulance, and two if we can make it happen," he said.

The words of Mary Heffernan delivered at her son Liam's funeral: 'It was a privilege to be your parents' 

Mary and Tony's son Liam (5) made his own trip aboard the Bumbleance shortly before he died in May from the extremely rare and fatal Batten's Disease which also claimed the life of his older sister Saoirse (5).

"The positive effect that Bumbleance has had on the sickest of Irish children has been overwhelming, so much so that it is now a priority to get two more Bumbleances," Tony said.

Members of the public can get behind Bumbleance by texting BUZZ to 50300 to donate €4. Volunteers are welcome to join the team along the route and can get involved by calling 083 0044444.

Read more: Battens boy Liam Heffernan: 'Little Liamo has grown angel wings and joined his sister in Heaven' 

Launching the Bumbleance Golf Classic were Michelle McGreevy Manager Dooks Golf Club, John Mangan Club Captain Dooks Golf Club and Susanna Lyons Director Bumbleance which will be held in Dooks Golf Club on Friday the 9th May.
(Photo by Michelle Cooper Galvin)
Launching the Bumbleance Golf Classic were Michelle McGreevy Manager Dooks Golf Club, John Mangan Club Captain Dooks Golf Club and Susanna Lyons Director Bumbleance which will be held in Dooks Golf Club on Friday the 9th May. (Photo by Michelle Cooper Galvin)
THE HARDEST WALK: Family and friends help the Heffernans say goodbye to their son Liam, 5. His dad Tony is front right, in glasses. Photo: Domnick Walsh
Mary and Tony Heffernan at home in Keel, Co Kerry, with Liam (3), who is suffering from the rare Batten's Disease
Saoirse Heffernan aged 5 from Keel near Castlemaine, Co. Kerry with her parents Tony and Mary and her brother Liam aged 2, Saoirse will travel to New York to undergo brain surgery at Weill Cornell University Hospital on October 8 for planned surgery on October 12 in a bid to save her life. Saoirse Heffernan suffers from Late Infantile Battens Disease, an inherited disorder of the nervous system that begins in childhood. She has been selected to take part in a medical trial that offers the only chance of surviving the fatal disease. Pic credit; Damien Eagers 4/10/2010
Tony and Mary with Liam Heffernan shortly after he returned home after receiving potentially life-saving treatment in New York in May. Credit: Photo by Michelle Cooper Galvin
Saoirse Heffernan aged 5 from Keel near Castlemaine, Co. Kerry with her parents Tony and Mary and her brother Liam aged 2. Photo: Damien Eagers

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