2 July 2018
By Elaine Murphy
Olympic race walker and star of RTE’s ‘Dancing with the Stars’, Rob Heffernan joined Bandon fireman, Dave Crean to officially launch this year’s ‘Make Your Mark on Cancer’ charity walk in aid of the Mercy Hospital Foundation.
The annual 22km walk will start at 9am on Sunday, July 15th at The Viaduct on the N71, when walkers will set off to the Town Hall in Bandon. This year’s walk will see Bandon Fire Station’s Dave Crean undertake the challenge of completing the journey in full uniform to support the cause which will raise funds for the Mercy Cancer Appeal.
Complimentary buses generously provided by event sponsor, McCarthy’s Coaches, will depart from Kelleher’s Builder Providers from 8am to drop walkers to the Viaduct to begin their walk at the new time of 9am. There will also be a starting point in Innishannon for those who want a shorter option, starting there at 10.30am. Details are available now at www.makeyourmark.ie.
Funds raised will once again go towards the cost of developing the Mercy Hospital Foundation’s new Cancer CARE Centre, a space close to Mercy University Hospital on Wood Street, for people diagnosed with cancer, to support them along their cancer journey.
Funds will also go towards a new Psycho-Oncology service at Mercy University Hospital. Receiving a diagnosis of cancer will normally result in some degree of psychological distress and impact on a person’s mental health. About one third of cancer patients will require professional help to overcome disabling psychological symptoms such as anxiety and depression. It is to this group of patients to whom the Mercy can now offer this service. The huge demand for the service means that it needs to expand quickly and with the support of this year’s ‘Make Your Mark on Cancer’ walk, this service will be available to more patients in need of support.
2018 is the 6th year of the popular walk which was started in memory of Cork man, Mark Prendergast, who lost his battle with testicular cancer in June 2012. In 2013, the group of Mark’s family and friends came together to resurrect a charity walk from the Viaduct to Bandon under the new name of the ‘Make Your Mark on Cancer’, and to date they have raised over €252,000 for cancer services at the Mercy University Hospital, with 526 people participate in last year’s walk.
This dedicated group is committed to making a difference, raising funds and awareness for cancer patients and their families from all over Munster, and encouraging people to participate this July, Mark’s brother, Damien Prendergast, Chairman of the organising committee said “Through our fundraising efforts we are helping to support and help people who are diagnosed with cancer and their families by offering them a place to go, and this year we’re also supporting the new Psycho-Oncology service which will support so many people. When patients and their families are facing the darkest days of their lives we want them to feel strengthened by the services on offer at Mercy.
“Our aim this year is to surpass the €300,000 milestone this year and we are encouraging walkers of all ages and abilities, whether you’ve done the walk before or not, to join us on July 15th, and ‘Make your Mark on Cancer’. This year we’ve also committed to donating €5,000 of funds raised to Marymount Hospice.”
Speaking at the launch of this year’s walk in Bandon Fire Station, Rob Heffernan said “We all know someone who has, in some way, been affected by cancer. 22km is a small challenge compared to what a person going through cancer has to face, and that’s why I’m encouraging people to sign up and raise funds that will make a real difference to people living with cancer and their families.”
‘Make Your Mark on Cancer’ is kindly supported by AceSigns, McCarthy Coaches, Caulfield’s SuperValu, Dessi Electrical, Lidl (Bandon) O’Sullivan’s Centra, The Viaduct Inn, and a number of other sponsors. Official media partner for ‘Make Your Mark on Cancer’ is C103FM.
The walk, starting at 9am on July 15th, is open to people of all ages and abilities. To register or find out more, log on to www.makeyourmark.ie or call 086 4542132.
For more information on the Mercy Cancer CARE Centre visit www.mercyfundraising.ie.