Top Irish boxer Darren O’Neill joined forces with a host of local children last week to launch a fundraising walk for the Irish Motor Neurone Disease Association (IMNDA).
The inaugural Walk to D-Feet MND will take place in the picturesque grounds of Castletown House , outside Celbridge, on Saturday, July 20, starting at 11am.
The Irish Olympic boxing team captain and European Silver Medallist was joined at the launch by Kildare youngsters Daniel O’Meara (9), Aoibhinn O’Meara (6), Darragh Power (9), Tom Power (6), Ciaran Flanagan (10), Pearse McKeever (9, who are all from Maynooth, and Mia (9) and Erin (6) Whelan from Newbridge.
Motor Neurone Disease is a progressive, incurable and terminal condition that claims the life of one person every five days in Ireland.
The neurological condition leaves people unable to do everyday activities including walking. Talking and swallowing may also become virtually impossible. MND can strike people of all ages and there is no cure.
Former Kildare North Fianna Fail TD Michael Fitzpatrick passed away from MND in October 2011, aged 69.
Well-known RTE sports broadcaster Colm Murray is also suffering from the disease.
The organisers urged Kildare people to walk the short distance on the day to raise much-needed funds for the association.
“Walking 5K can help the IMNDA to continue providing care for over 300 families across Ireland,” said Naas woman Maeve Leahy, spokesperson for the IMNDA.
The organisation provides care for people with MND, their families and carers, and supports research into the causes and treatment of MND.
“Currently there are 10 families living with MND in Kildare,” she added. “Every step makes a difference. We walk for hope, we walk in support, and we walk so that one day we will see a world free of MND.”
Registration for the walk is €25 and can be paid online or on the day. To encourage families to take part in the event, all children under the age of 12 go free.
The route is fully accessible for buggies and is wheelchair friendly. All walkers will receive a green IMNDA t-shirt.
The organisers are also encouraging those who can’t make it to Castletown to host their own walk.
The IMNDA will provide those interested with all the tools necessary, including buckets, t-shirts and sponsorship cards. For information, walk registration or walk packs, visit www.imnda.ie or call 1800 403 403.