PEOPLE don’t have to be a doctor to save a life and they don’t have to be a nurse to make a difference. This is what 75 fundraisers for Temple Street including some from Laois, proved when they made their sixth trip down ‘the mother of all mother roads’ Route 66 last September.
As they took on this iconic, wild and wonderful challenge, they were focused on raising a quarter of a million between them in support of Temple Street’s latest re-development project - Top Flat - a ward where some of Ireland’s sickest children are cared for.
Over the past 12 years they have collectively travelled 1.6 million miles and raised in excess of €2.2 million, never losing sight of why they commit to fundraise all year. Every Irish Route 66er believes in the magic of Temple Street and understand that fundraising is a vital part of the life saving team in Temple Street.
Jimmy Maher, an Irish 66er from Rathdowney who turned 66 while on Route 66, is a long time veteran supporter of Temple Street Children’s University Hospital, relayed his story.
“My first visit to Temple Street was to see my grandchild Liam Ward who was born in 2000, at the time we are scared, worried and not sure what is happening and that is only as a grandparent not alone what his parents were going through, but the reassurance and care that the staff of Temple Street showed to us will always stay with me. The professional attention to the patient was top class. My grandchild Liam made a full recovery and is now a happy 12 year old in his 1st year of secondary school.”
Jimmy fundraises because he has witnessed first hand the care and attention Temple Street Children’s University Hospital provide to the children in its care and having experienced Temple Street first hand.
“When I heard of the Route 66 Motorcycle challenge I knew it was one for me. I have a life long passion for motorbikes and the open road so it was the perfect match for me. This year 2012 is a special year for me; I am 66 going down Route 66”, he said.
“It’s every bikers dream to go down the mother road on a Harley, but to go with such a professional team, headed up by Angi makes it a dream come through. So for anyone considering it live your dream they don’t get much better than Route 66.”
Other Laois men who took part in Temple Street Children’s University Hospital’s Route 66 Motorcycle Challenge were Gerry Delany from Portlaoise who completed multiple Ultra Marathons to raise his funds; and well known Harley enthusiast John Rooney from Rathdowney. Laois can certainly be very proud indeed with wonderful ambassadors like these.
People from all over the country and all walks of life support Temple Street by taking part in this amazing challenge and experience the joy of helping sick and injured children. This year Temple Street’s wish is to give patients and families state of the art care at a time when they need it most.
Angela McNulty, special events manager with Temple Street was delighted with the trip. This was Angela’s sixth time to travel Route 66, with the first of the biannual trips taking place in 2002.
“We saw a massive amount of America on the trip, travelling through nine states. We also had great local support from Laois and it is important to thank all the supporters who still give what they can”.
The team flew to Chicago and travelled through Illinois, Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, new Mexico, Arizona, Nevada before landing on Santa Monica pier in the state of California. They saw a diverse cross section of the country in the trip which took about two weeks.
“We had mighty craic, we laughed and cried our way across the country. We enjoyed genuine hospitality, and met real life cowboys and indians. It was amazing to see the cultural aspect of it”.
For the once in a lifetime trip for many, about 80% of the work is all done before leaving Ireland, said Angela, and of course the focus is raising much needed funds for the hospital.
“We have children from all over Ireland, even from as far as Kerry and Cork coming up for treatment. We have a primary school here and we have a play therapist for the younger children. If they are, for example, on dialysis and stuck to a machine for hours, they need to be looked after and entertained. There are a lot of aspects to Temple Street Hospital”.
Last week, Temple Street celebrated its 140th birthday, “two lifetimes caring for sick children in Ireland”, added Angela. “We desperately need to raise €2 million for our ambitious redevelopment programme. Although the care in Temple Street Children’s Hospital is second to none, our busiest ward, known to many as Top Flat, is in urgent need of extensive refurbishment and redevelopment in order to keep up with medical standards. We would like to thank all participants, their family, friends and supporters for endeavoring to make this dream a reality.”
Established in 1872, Temple Street Children’s University Hospital is a national facility that provides paediatric care to children from all over Ireland. Each year, over 130,000 sick children are cared for in Temple Street, of which one-third of inpatients come from outside Dublin.
The accident and emergency department caters for almost 50,000 children annually, making it one of the busiest A&E facilities in Europe. The hospital relies heavily on fundraising to ensure that the children at our hospital receive only the very highest standard of medical care available.
Those who feel that they are up for a challenge can contact the team on 01 878 4344 or visit www.route66.ie. Anyone could be a part of Temple Street Children’s University Hospital Route 66 Motorcycle Challenge 2014.
There are lots of different fundraising initiatives in on the hospital’s website, with something to suit everyone. For more information on how to get involved, visit www.templestreet.ie.