Kildare's Ray runs for Debra

Fundraiser

Paula Campbell

Reporter:

Paula Campbell

Email:

paula@leinsterleader.ie

Kildare's Ray runs for Debra

Naas woman Hannah Carroll won the half marathon

Kildare’s own Ray D'Arcy has braved one of Ireland's toughest mountain races to help raise money for people battling the rare and very painful skin condition EB, also known as butterfly skin.

Some 600 runners joined the well-known broadcaster in the Debra Ireland Wicklow Mountain Challenge on March 5th.

And Kildare woman Hannah Carroll from Naas won the half-marathon race at the charity event.

Debra Ireland supports people living with EB (epidermolysis bullosa), an incredibly painful skin condition that causes the skin layers and internal body linings to blister and wound at the slightest touch.

Runners sporting their Debra Ireland butterfly tattoos chose either a 10.7km route or a half-marathon with long-time Debra supporter Ray D'Arcy opting for the latter.

"Debra Ireland is a great cause and I've enjoyed doing their Wicklow Challenge for a number of years now," said Ray.

"Even though the forecast was terrible, for some reason that little window of three hours every year seems to be glorious.

"While this year wasn't glorious, despite a forecast of hail, rain and wind, the sun did get through the clouds a few times."

Also braving the wet and mucky conditions were Debra Ireland member Mark Hyland whose young daughters Alison and Erica have EB and PhD student Jonathan O'Keeffe Ahern who is researching treatments for EB at the Charles Institute of Dermatology, UCD.

"This is what the race is really about, the parents and families whose children have EB and the dedicated researchers who are striving to find a cure," said Mark.