21 October 2019
By Bryan Smyth
Make Your Mark on Cancer charity walk raises €50,000 for the
Mercy Hospital Foundation
Organisers of the 7th annual ‘Make Your Mark on Cancer’ charity walk have announced that this year’s walk has raised an outstanding €50,000 for the Mercy University Hospital Foundation. An additional €5,000 was raised for Marymount University Hospital and Hospice.
Hundreds of people turned out for 22km walk from The Viaduct on the N71 to the Town Hall in Bandon which took place on July 21st. Vital funds raised for the Mercy University Hospital Foundation are in aid of the development of the Mercy Cancer CARE Centre and the hospital’s Psycho-Oncology services.
Established in 2013 in memory of Bandon man Mark Prendergast, who sadly lost his battle with testicular cancer in June 2012, the ‘Make Your Mark on Cancer’ charity walk has been supported by the people of Cork and afar since day one. Commenting on the support, Eoin Prendergast, Mark’s brother and one of the founding members of the ‘Make Your Mark on Cancer’ charity walk said, “We are over the moon to have now raised close to €350,000 for the Mercy University Hospital Foundation since we established the walk in 2013. Following Mark’s passing in 2012, we wanted to do something special in Mark’s memory, as well as giving back to the Mercy and Marymount for the amazing care and support the provided Mark and our family during what was a very difficult time. We never imagined we would have raised this huge sum of money already but the support from day one has been overwhelming. If people can’t participate on the day of the walk, they often participate the day before or the day after which is amazing. Local software firm RedHat even completed a bed push on the day to raise as much funds as possible.”
Like the Prendergast family, many more families will continue to endure the devastating news of a cancer diagnosis. The funds raised through the ‘Make Your Mark on Cancer’ charity walk will go towards the Mercy University Hospital Foundation’s development of a new Cancer CARE Centre, having secured a building this summer. The dedicated centre will support people diagnosed with cancer on their journey. Funds raised will also go towards the Mercy University Hospital’s Psycho-Oncology service for the increasing number of patients who require professional help to overcome disabling psychological symptoms such as anxiety and depression following a cancer diagnosis.
Commenting on the phenomenal difference the funds raised from the ‘Make Your Mark on Cancer’ charity walk, Mícheál Sheridan, CEO of the Mercy University Hospital Foundation said, “I would like to thank the Prendergast family and every single supporter of the ‘Make Your Mark on Cancer’ charity walk for the phenomenal difference they have made since 2013. The funds raised have made a significant difference in continuously improving cancer services at the Mercy University Hospital, the people’s hospital. Unfortunately, cancer will affect every single one of us, whether it’s personally or through a family member which is often a very traumatic experience. This devastating news can, and often does, cause huge emotional distress which is why we are committed to developing the Mercy’s dedicated Cancer CARE Centre. Having recently purchased a building just a minutes walk away from both the main hospital and the Outpatient Department, this will be transformed into a non-clinical facility to provide a quiet and safe place for patients and families to access an increasingly necessary range of services to support those affected by a cancer diagnosis.”
Thanking this year’s sponsors, Eoin Prendergast said, “We would like to sincerely thank the sponsors of this year’s walk, McCarthy Coaches who provided complementary transportation for participants to the starting point and Acesigns for their continued support and backing. The ‘Make Your Mark on Cancer’ walk refreshment stops were sponsored by Caulfields Supervalu Bandon, Dessie Electrical, TSB Bandon, O’Sullivan’s Centra Innishannon and ABP Bandon. We also had the amazing support from a number of local businesses including Bracken Foam Fabricators, Hahnel Industries, Donpack Packaging & Logistics and Patrick Horgan Tyre Services. We would also like to thank C103FM, our official media partner.”