A marathon relay at the University of Limerick has helped raise more than €3,000 for a French student who suffered a stroke and is undergoing rehabilitation.
Kevin Saude, who has lived in Limerick for seven years and is enrolled as a mature student in the Bachelor of Arts course in UL, suffered a stroke when he returned to Bar le Duc in his native France this summer.
Following his accident, Mr Saude is now wheelchair- bound and has spent more than three months in hospital.
The 26-year-old worked as a spinning instructor in the UL Sports Arena and Prozone in Thomond Park and was a runner with the athletic club in Dooneen.
Run a Lap for Kevin, which took place at the UL running track, was organised by Mr Saude’s friends from running clubs across the city to help him with his medical costs.
The aim of the marathon relay was to cover 105 laps of the track, which is equivalent to 26.2 miles — the distance of a marathon. The challenge was to beat Mr Saude’s time of three hours and 41 seconds, which he recorded in Barcelona in 2013.
Although all the money raised has not yet been collected, it is estimated over €3,000 will be donated to Mr Saude. UL Students’ Union president Colin Clarke commended the university and the wider community for getting involved.
“It is the UL spirit to rally around students when times are tough and it is really nice to see everyone getting involved and doing their bit to help,” he said.
Mr Clarke said that the Students’ Union is now looking at what they can do to help Kevin and others who may experience accidents or illness like this.
“Every year we get over 50 submissions for different charities for Charity Week and we nominate four of those charities,” he said. “This academic year we will be nominating three charities as usual but we are also looking into having a fund so if something happens to a student we will be in a financial position to help them.”
Although he says they are still at the early planning stages, Mr Clarke is confident the university will get behind the union’s plans in setting up a fund.
“What happened to Kevin can happen to anyone,” he said. “Hopefully we can raise more money to help him and other students who might find themselves in a similar situation.”
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