Running the Vhi Women’s Mini Marathion is great for the health of the women involved – and it’s also beneficial for the many charities for whom these women run, raising money and hopes for the people that they serve.
One such charity is the Make-A-Wish Foundation, which exists to grant wishes to children battling life-threatening illnesses such as Leukaemia, Cystic Fibrosis, and brain tumours. “Our wish children have suffered more than any child should and deserve to be granted their special wish as a reward for battling their illness,” says Irene Timmins, Head of Fundraising. “As the biggest single day charity event in Ireland and the biggest all-female event of its type in the world, it’s a fantastic opportunity for our supporters to raise funds for the charity and raise awareness of our work.”
The past three years have seen €122,507 raised, and Irene relates a few of the wishes made possible from such fundraising. “Annie (pictured), age 11,who is living with Ewings Sarcoma, wished to be a vet and Aideen, age 8, who is living with Myelodysplastic Syndrome, wished to be a Barbie Fashion Designer in LA. A wish can be transformative and have a positive psychological impact on the child and the entire family.”
The St James’s Hospital Foundation has a long-time stake in the Women’s Mini Marathon as well. Originally set up in 1985, their aim is “to work with the various departments within the hospital and to keep improving the level of care that these patients receive in the hospital,” says James Conway. “Events such as the Vhi Women’s Mini Marathon helps us to create the awareness that we need the support from the public to make this happen.”
Some of the women who run for the foundation have been involved for over 15 years, and an additional participant for the foundation this year was Catherina McKiernan, who was their official running ambassador.
Last year, the St James Foundation raised over €23,000, which was shared out between various departments, including Breast Care and Diabetes. James says that every department and speciality in the hospital has “their own wish list that we want to provide them with. Without the funds raised from events such as the Vhi Women’s Mini Marathon, we would never be able to do this.”