A "FAIRY Godmother" team from Make-A Wish Ireland has already started training for the Flora Women's Mini Marathon on Monday, June 6.
“Some of us have done the Mini Marathon before but this is the first time we've come together as a team to support our theme for this year's Women's Mini Marathon,” says CEO Susan O'Dwyer.
“We are hoping that groups, clubs, associations and mums will follow our lead and make up their own Make-A-Wish team.”
Helping the Fairy Godmothers on their way is fitness instructor Karl Henry. He has already assessed the fitness of all the ladies and pronounced them good to go.
Last year, it wasn't hard to spot the 400 or so walking, jogging or running the Mini Marathon for this very special charity — they were the ones in bright pink T-shirts sporting angel wings. Together, they raised €55,000 for the charity.
“Our goal is to put the fun back into fundraising, so this year we'll be wearing giant sunglasses,” explains Susan.
As well as that, every member of the team who completes the distance will get a chocolate treat.
“We do this to show our appreciation for everyone who raises funds for us,” says Susan.
All funds raised go towards fulfilling around 150 “wishes” for critically ill children every year.
“It's not just about fulfilling a child's wish. You are opening up a world of possibilities for families with a sick child,” says Cathy Elliott, the wish-granting manager with the charity.
“When one child is seriously ill, the siblings often lose out, so we include all the family in our “wishes”. It means the sick child becomes a hero in the family.”
Granting the wishes is no easy task “Our job is to overcome the obstacles so that everyone concerned has a positive experience. If a seriously ill child can't fly, we take the ferry.
“Some children will need medical assistance while fulfilling their wish. We look after all of that and take the pressure off the child’s family,” says Cathy.
Granting a wish can help transform a family by showing them how much more they can do together, even with a seriously ill child.
Taking part in the Mini Marathon is also expected to be a transforming experience for members of the Make-AWish team.
“We're hoping that everyone will have a great day, get fit and have fun with friends, as well as raising some money for us,” says Susan.
Want to sign up? See www.makeawish.ie or call the office at 01 205 2007