When Aisling Brosnan enters the water this weekend to complete the 'Across the Bay Challenge' swim from Derrymore to Fenit, it will be an occasion with mixed emotions for the Spa native.
Aisling is not only excited about putting many months of hard training to use in her 5k challenge, she will also be helping to raise funds for a charity close to her heart.
In 2014 Aisling's father, Tom, passed away following his battle with Motor Neurone Disease. Tom was a former teacher at Presentation Secondary School in Tralee before taking early retirement to help out with the family business (Total Cleaning Supplies) as a driver.
Tom was extremely well known in Tralee and he was a very active member of the community, along with his passion for cycling. Watching her father endure his illness - coupled with the care, compassion and support received from the Irish Motor Neurone Disease Association (IMNDA) - Aisling promised that she would do her best to raise money for the IMNDA when the opportunity presented itself, and help raise awareness for what is a brilliant organisation.
"The IMNDA were a fantastic support to dad and more especially to our family as he was going through this disease. The help they gave us along the way was just amazing," Aisling said.
"Unfortunately they had to rely on individual funds and contributions as they don't get any State funding.
"There are 40 people at the moment suffering from this disease in Ireland. From my point of view, I just want to give something back to them. They are just looking for a cure so that MND can be a thing of the past," she added. On Saturday, Aisling and around 30 other swimmers - some of whom will be raising money for their charity of choice - will swim the bay in what has become a fantastic introduction opportunity for swimmers under the tutelage of well-known local swimmer, Kevin Williams.
For the past few weeks Kevin has been putting the swimmers through their paces with regular swims around Fenit in preparation. The event can't come quick enough.
"Everyone has been great keeping up with the training and Saturday will be a box ticking for those of us completing the swim for the first time. Hopefully the tides are right and we're good to go," she said.
The Across the Bay Challenge is a swim organised by Kevin Williams. It is an annual fundraiser for the RNLI, and there will be an opportunity to donate to this fantastic organisation throughout the swim challenge.
The swim is a great opportunity for new swimmers, and since it first started it has introduced hundreds of swimmers to the joys of open water swimming in Kerry, which continues to grow in popularity.
To donate to the IMNDA you can visit: www.justgiving.com and type in 'Aisling Brosnan' to bring up her page.