AT Our Lady’s Hospital for Sick Children, Crumlin, the objective is always to give every sick child every chance every time.
So says Joe Quinsey, CEO of the Children’s Medical and Research Foundation, the hospital’s main fundraising body.
He says fundraising is essential so the hospital can meet its objective.
And while such initiatives benefit thechildren, they also benefit those partaking in them. One such person is father of two Tony Power.
It was always on his bucket list to trek to Mount Everest base camp, but four years ago he couldn’t have climbed St Patrick’s Hill in Cork, let alone considered anything more ambitious.
Yet, right now, the 47-year-old Specsavers worker is making the epic Everest journey as part of a fundraising campaign for Crumlin Hospital. The pledge is to raise €100,000 for the hospital’s ophthalmology unit.
Back in 2012, Tony weighed 120kg. “I was grossly overweight,” he admits.
When a colleague asked if he’d cycle to Lourdes for a local charity, the Limerick man didn’t take her seriously.
“My mum, Margaret Power, was a woman of great faith. Lourdes was one of her favourite places. I was on holiday in Spain when Sinead [colleague] phoned and asked how the training was going.
"I hadn’t realised she was serious. Mum said ‘You’d want to lose a few pounds’. She said if I did it, she’d be in Lourdes to meet me.”
It was the spur Tony needed. He started walking, jogging, running, cycling — he did a five-day bootcamp. “It became a passion for me. Once I make a commitment, it’s all or nothing.”
And then, after a short struggle with cancer, his mum passed away in November 2012.
“I kept going in honour of her. It was as defining moment. It gave me an extra push.”
By the time he took the plane to Nantes in June 2013, he weighed 78kg.
“I completed the cycle. I’m as fit as a fiddle now.”
Tony, whose children are grown up, visited Crumlin Hospital where he was “blown away” by the passion of the staff and the children. “
Tony is now on day three of his 13-day trek to Everest base camp and happy his contribution is going to impact so positively on children all over Ireland.
Text Crumlin to 50300 to donate €4, or make a donation in any of Specsavers’ stores nationwide
* The Ophthalmology department at Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital, Crumlin, is one of the busiest in Ireland. It diagnoses and treats over 10,000 patients annually.
* It provides care to children suffering from eye conditions, like squints. If left untreated these can result in sight problems.
* The unit also evaluates other complex eye conditions including congenital cataract and congenital glaucoma.
* For more info, visit www.cmrf.org
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