Jack Fadden (front and centre) is pictured with Acquired Brain Injury Ireland clients and staff to launch the Clane 5k/10k Family Fun Run on 10 November sponsored by T&I Fitouts and AMOSS Solicitors
Inspirational Kildare brain injury survivor Jack Fadden returns with Kildare’s biggest fun run in aid of Acquired Brain Injury Ireland.
“If I can do it, you can do it,” is the message from inspirational brain injury survivor Jack Fadden from Kildare urging people to join him in the Clane 5k/10k Family Fun Run on November 10 in aid of Acquired Brain Injury Ireland.
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The 28-year-old is training hard to achieve his goal of running the race in full for the first time with no walking and he encourages runners and walkers of any level to join him for the event, which is sponsored by T&I Fitouts and AMOSS Solicitors.
More than 650 participants took part in the event last year (2017) and this year, it is expected to grow even bigger. The Clane 5k/10k Family Fun Run is fast becoming a firm favourite on the Irish running calendar which is has raised more than €35k to date to make life better for brain injury survivors in Ireland.
Jack said: “Like many people after a brain injury I’ve struggled with fatigue and memory problems. With the help of my family, friends and keyworker, the Clane 5k/10k was created three years ago. Organising the Clane 5k/10k has motivated me to build up my physical strength and it has tested my memory with planning and organising. In year one I walked 5k. In year two I walked and jogged 5k and now in year three my aim is to run 5k in full.”
Seven years ago, at just 21 years of age, Jack suffered a brain injury caused by a bleed on the brain that left him unable to walk, talk or eat. It happened when he was six thousand miles away from home after travelling to Thailand on his way to Australia and one of his friends found him unconscious in his room.
The young carpenter was rushed to hospital in Thailand where he remained for three months before his family were able to fly him home. He spent a further three months in the Mater Hospital in Dublin relearning how to talk and eat again.
Jack left hospital in a wheelchair to go for intense rehabilitation with the NRH (National Rehabilitation Hospital). Eventually he was discharged home to begin community rehabilitation with an Acquired Brain Injury Ireland keyworker, Aidan, who gave him the confidence and motivation to get his life back.
“I made a promise to myself that I would never sit in a wheelchair again and from that day to this, I have fought every day to further myself and I refuse to give up. In the beginning I struggled to walk for more than 20 minutes and there were times when I felt like giving in. But with Aidan’s support, I refused to let it define me," he added.
Thanks to the support of his keyworker from Acquired Brain Injury Ireland, Jack feels he has regained his life. He is now back driving with confidence and is studying to become a healthcare assistant so he can help other brain injury survivors. He has also joined his local running club and now runs three or four times a week.
Jonathan Power, Head of Fundraising with Acquired Brain Injury Ireland said: “Jack is an incredible inspiration to everyone who meets him and he is fabulous ambassador for our organisation. Organising an event on this scale is an enormous task and Jack has a fantastic network of support around him, making it happen. Jack’s determination and commitment to help more brain injury survivors is unstoppable.
“Every day in Ireland, 35 people acquire a brain injury from stroke, road traffic accidents, falls and assaults. We believe every brain injury is unique and we champion personalised rehabilitation plans for all our clients. Ultimately our goal is that our clients won’t need us anymore. The funds raised from this event make an enormous difference to our work and this year, everyone who takes part in the fun run will be helping to fund a new day service serving Kildare and West Dublin. Our day services provide essential peer support and training for people affected by brain injury that can provide the final step before someone returns to independent living.”
Clane 10k & 5k Family Fun Run 2018, 10 November, 10am-12.30pm. 5k ticket €20, 10k ticket €25. Entrants receive a technical tshirt and bespoke medal. Post-race refreshments provided courtesy of Clane GAA.
Register to take part with www.popupraces.ie or see www.abiireland.ie