A PORTARLINGTON man recently ran the Dublin City Marathon to raise funds for medical assistance for his uncle who suffers from Multiple Sclerosis.
Bernard Weldon completed the Dublin marathon on October 29 and donated a cheque for €1,803.50 to his uncle, PJ Maher, a Monasterevin man now living in Cloneygowan. PJ was diagnosed with MS some four years ago and recently travelled to Poland to undergo groundbreaking surgery for his condition. It was to raise funds for this trip that his nephew Bernard decided to run the marathon.
Bernard explained to the Leinster Express that he ran the marathon in 2011 for MS Ireland, a charity close to his heart as his mother tragically passed away from Multiple Sclerosis five years ago. He was planning to run the marathon
again this year and had no charity in mind, but with six weeks to go he decided to raise funds to help toward PJ’s costly operation in Poland. PJ’s extensive family, many of whom are in England, also raised funds, with his brother Sean raising nearly €2,000 through an auction.
Bernard revealed that PJ has shown a great improvement since receiving the surgery, which he hopes has added years to PJ’s life.
“It will take six months to a year before he sees the benefit of it, but he can move his right arm now. It will take time,” he said.
Although relatively new to marathon running, Bernard has said he plans to continue for many more years with further fundraising in mind.
“I took it up three years ago, I was a bit overweight and decided to lose some and I lost five stone,” he explained.
Next year, Bernard has said he may run the marathon for Cancer Research, another charity close to home as his wife’s mother succumbed to cancer six years ago.
Bernard and PJ have offered their thanks to all the contributors in Portarlington and various locations in Ireland and England, for their generosity in helping PJ receive “a new optimism for the future”.
“We also feel a need to say that your donations however insignificant you may feel have given PJ a new optimism for the future, renewing his ability to battle the dreadful muscle wasting effects of this illness,” they said.