Ilona Madden celebrated her 50th birthday by running 50km
THE local lady was supporting the Martin Codyre Foundation with the help of a group of friends and family members who joined her for portions of the route.
She set off from the Martello on Saturday morning and took in Shankill, Killiney, Dalkey, Dun Laoghaire, Blackrock, Booterstown and Sandymount before returning to Bray for a well earned seat and a hot drink. She and her loved ones continued to celebrate the happy occasion with a party at the Martello that night.
Ilona is a neighbour of Martin's family. The Newcourt Road native suffered an accident in 2008 which left him paralysed from the chest down. As well as supporting his medical needs, the foundation aims to research spinal chord injury with a view to ultimately finding a cure for such devastating injuries.
Ilona's dad John Dufrain was among those to join her last Saturday having travelled from their native Germany.
It was john who inspired the artist's love of athletics. He ran his first marathon when he was 50 so has now earned the right to get a little help from a scooter along the way.
Ilona said that she is extremely grateful to be mobile and able to use her body for running, as she was in a very serious accident over 28 years ago and broke her neck.
She escaped without injuring her spinal cord however realises how close she came to becoming paralysed.
'When I met Martin Codyre, I realised that no medical advances have been made in finding a cure for paralysis and that people with spinal cord injuries still face the same challenges,' she said.
To take part or for more information go to www.50at50.net.