24 November 2023
By Elaine Murphy
362 walkers stepped out to make their own mark on cancer on Sunday, 23rd July for the 10th annual ‘Make Your Mark on Cancer’ charity walk, raising a record breaking €69,861 for the Mercy University Hospital Foundation’s Cancer Appeal.
The popular ‘Make Your Mark on Cancer’ 22km walk from The Viaduct to the Town Hall in Bandon, was set up in memory of Bandon man Mark Prendergast, who passed away from testicular cancer in 2012. Funds raised through this year’s walk, and supporting events, bring the total raised in the 10 year history to over €500k.
Funds raised this year will once again go towards the new Mercy Cancer CARE Centre, due to open in early 2024. The Mercy Cancer CARE Centre will provide vital support for patients and their loved ones as they go through their cancer journey; providing a range of services, from one-to-one counselling and patient support groups, to a safe haven for patients at the time of their initial diagnosis.
A portion of the money raised this year will also sponsor Testicular Cancer Awareness Talks for over 1,000 male students aged 15-18 in seven schools across the county. Over 1,000 students from Carrigaline, Millstreet and Bantry have already benefited from this programme, which is unique to The Mercy University Hospital Foundation, and informs and educates young men on the signs and symptoms of testicular cancer, how to monitor for symptoms, and what to do if they have any signs of the illness.
Commenting on the support the walk received, Damien Prendergast, Mark’s brother and Chairman of the ‘Make Your Mark on Cancer’ committee, said, “This support for this years walk once again surpassed all our expectations, and we’re delighted to announce the exceptional figure of €69,861, which brings the total raised in the history of ‘Make Your Mark’ to over half a million euro. The walk is a wonderful way to both honour Mark’s memory; and help families who are in a similar situation to what ours was 12 years ago, and who are now dealing with a cancer diagnosis at the Mercy University Hospital. We would like to sincerely thank every person who has contributed and participated over the last decade, without them, this simply would not have been possible.”
Deirdre Finn, Acting CEO, and Head of Fundraising at the Mercy University Hospital Foundation, said “We are so appreciative to once again be the beneficiary of the longstanding ‘Make Your Mark on Cancer’ walk in aid of the Cancer CARE Centre. From early next year the Centre will provide a quiet and safe place for patients and their families to access an increasingly necessary range of services to support those affected both directly and indirectly by a cancer diagnosis. It will also be home to our flagship Psycho-oncology service, delivered by Clinical Psychologists, to support the mental health and emotional needs of cancer patients and their families during such a difficult time.”
For more information on fundraising for the Mercy Hospital Foundation and the Mercy Cancer CARE Centre, visit www.mercyhospitalfoundation.ie.