A Walk for Annie

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Honouring a Mother’s Memory and Supporting Cancer Care in Kerry

In a heartfelt tribute to her late mother, Anne Lucid McCarthy, who passed away on June 23, 2021, Stephanie McCarthy, from Ballyduff, will undertake a remarkable 140km solo endurance walk from the Bon Secours Hospital in Cork to the village of Ballyduff in North Kerry. This special journey, is scheduled to take place over the weekend of her mother’s 3rd anniversary, from Friday, June 21st to Sunday, June 23rd, 2024, and aims to raise funds for the Kerry Hospice Foundation and Comfort for Chemo Kerry.

Anne Lucid McCarthy, received most of her cancer treatment at the Bon Secours Hospital, in Cork, making this starting point deeply significant for her daughter Stephanie. Her route not only honours Anne’s memory but poignantly traces the route travelled by many cancer patients in Kerry who are often left with no choice but to travel outside the county for essential cancer related services.

“By choosing a solo endurance walk, my aim is to shed light on the challenges faced by those battling cancer, especially when having to travel outside of Kerry for essential services,” she shared. “This journey is a tribute to my beloved mom and a way to support the invaluable organizations that tirelessly provide exceptional care and facilities for our county.”
The funds raised from this walk “A Walk for Annie,” will be equally distributed between the Kerry Hospice Foundation and Comfort for Chemo Kerry. Both organizations play crucial roles in supporting cancer patients and their families, ensuring they receive the best care and comfort during their treatment journey.

Stephanie McCarthy is a primary school teacher at Ballyduff National School. Her mother Anne worked there as an SNA and the school’s principal, Marie Lucid, was Anne’s sister. Since announcing her plan to do “A Walk for Annie” Stephanie has witnessed the school come alive with a deep sense of community spirit as students, staff, and pupils have come together to honour the memory of her mother, Anne, who left an indelible mark on the school community.

Anne McCarthy is fondly remembered by all who knew her. Her dedication to her role and the kindness she showed to every pupil left a lasting impression. To honour her memory, the school community has mobilized to support a series of initiatives, with proceeds going to the “A Walk for Annie” fundraiser, and in turn to Kerry Hospice Foundation and Comfort for Chemo Kerry.

The Student Council, brimming with ideas to support these causes, collaborated with the sixth class students to create and sell friendship wristbands. These colourful symbols of unity are available for purchase at the school, spreading Anne’s legacy of friendship and inclusion.

In addition to the wristband initiative, they have also organized a Remembrance Walk that takes place during the month of June. This initiative mirrors the distance that Ms. McCarthy will cover in her “A Walk For Annie” fundraiser. Throughout June, every class from Junior Infants to Sixth Class, accompanied by their teachers, have been walking an allocated number of laps around the school yard daily. The collective goal is to cover 140 kilometres, representing Ms McCarthy’s journey in memory of her mother Anne.

The culmination of these efforts will be celebrated with a whole-school event on Wednesday 12th of June at the walkway at Ballyduff Sports Field. During this event, each class will complete their final laps, symbolically achieving their 140-kilometre target. Parents and community members are warmly invited to join in the celebration, offering their encouragement and support to the dedicated students.

Stephanie McCarthy expressed her gratitude for the overwhelming support. “This initiative is a wonderful way to honour my mother’s memory, her dedication and kindness continue to inspire us all, and it’s heartening to see the entire school community come together to support this cause, it is truly touching. It’s a testament to the impact she had on all of us.”

The final event promises to be a heartfelt tribute to Anne McCarthy, celebrating her life and the enduring sense of community she helped to foster at Ballyduff National School. As students complete their final laps and the community gathers to cheer them on, the spirit of unity and remembrance will undoubtedly echo Anne’s lasting legacy.

Supporters can follow the progress of the “A Walk for Annie” and contribute to the fundraiser through dedicated online platforms such as http://www.idonate.ie/awalkforannie and the “A Walk for Annie” Facebook page. “Your support means the world to me and to the invaluable organizations, Kerry Hospice Foundation and Comfort for Chemo Kerry,” Stephanie added. “Together, we can make a meaningful difference in the lives of Kerry residents who continue to fight against cancer.”