19 February 2015

Tralee woman, Brenda Doody will undertake an epic challenge of completing 12 marathons in the next eight months to raise funds for the Mercy University Hospital Cork, where her husband was treated for oesophageal cancer in 2014.


Brenda is set to take on the challenge of a lifetime in what she hopes will become a major fundraiser for cancer facilities and research at the Hospital, and will be joined for the Dingle Marathon by Mr Tom Murphy, Consultant in General and Oesophagogastric Surgery, who leads her husband’s cancer care team.


Mr Murphy and his team at the Mercy University Hospital treated Brenda's husband, Pat as he underwent a minimally invasive oesophagectomy last September, after developing oesophageal cancer. Before undergoing the 7-hour surgery, 45-year-old Pat received both chemotherapy and radiotherapy following the diagnosis in May 2014. Since then, Pat has been given the all-clear, and now Brenda is gearing up for a massive challenge that will start in Tralee next month.


As a health and fitness instructor, Brenda is used to 10k runs and half-marathons, and thought this fundraiser deserved a bigger commitment, so Tralee will be followed by Connemara, Limerick, Cork, and Waterford. She will tackle Killarney in July, and four marathons in as many days in Donegal in August. Her challenge culminates with Dingle in September and Dublin in October. Pat is planning on doing the last marathon with her, health permitting.


Funds raised through Brenda’s marathon challenge will go towards funding research programmes in oesophageal cancer and expanding the minimally invasive cancer programme in the Mercy University Hospital.


Mr Murphy said “It was a privilege to treat Pat and I’m very pleased that he’s returning to work soon and getting out on the road training. Brenda’s fundraising venture honours the tremendous hard work of the multidiscplinary cancer team in the Mercy University Hospital and I am very proud to be working with such dedicated team. I’m looking forward to the hills of the Dingle peninsula this September.”


Brenda said that Mr Murphy and the team at the Mercy University Hospital were so amazing and helpful during this tough time that she wanted to give something back. She said "I'm ready for this challenge and I hope it's going to become a massive fundraiser. I really wanted to do it for the Mercy and the work of consultant Tom Murphy, who took care of Pat. Tom and his team were amazing and I just feel the least I can do now is to raise as much money as possible for research at the hospital.”


To get involved and join Brenda and Dr Murphy, go to facebook.com/mercymarathons, or to make a donation, go to fundraise.mercyfundraising.ie and click on Brenda’s Mercy Marathon Challenge.