Olympic race-walker Rob Heffernan ‘Makes his Mark on Cancer’ in aid of Mercy Hospital Foundation

Olympic race-walker Rob Heffernan officially launched this year’s Make Your Mark on Cancer walk in aid of the Mercy Hospital Foundation, which will take place on Sunday 19th July from The Viaduct on the N71 to the Town Hall in Bandon, and this year will raise funds for the Mercy Cancer Care Centre at Sheares Street.

The annual 22km ‘Make Your Mark on Cancer’ charity walk, which was started in memory of Cork man, Mark Prendergast who lost his battle with testicular cancer in June 2012, is organised by a small group of family and friends committed to making a difference. Raising funds, raising awareness, and making a difference for cancer patients and their families is the ethos of the organisation.

Mark’s wife, Fiona Curran said “Mark enjoyed his life, and although taken too young by Cancer he has instilled in family and friends a zest for life and an urge to help other cancer patients and their families. We honour the taken, we admire the survivors, and we support those currently fighting. His motto ‘Look up, not down; look out, not in; look forward, not back’ lives on.”

She continued “We were thrilled with the success of the 2013 and 2014 ‘Make Your Mark’ walks which have raised a total of €115,000 to date. Our aim as a group was to ‘Make a Mark on Cancer’ and cancer care in Cork, and every individual who walked, sponsored a walker, made a donation towards the running of the event, or helped out in any way, has a lot to be proud of. We made a Mark… we made a difference, and we’re urging people to come out and do the same again on July 19th.”

This year’s walk will begin at The Viaduct at 10am on Sunday 19th July. Buses sponsored by McCarthy Coaches will leave Kelleher’s in Bandon from 8.30am, with the last bus at 9.30am. There will also be a starting point in Innishannon for those who want a shorter option, and everyone is welcome to join the walk.

Eoin Prendergast, member of the organising committee said “The walk has, year on year, proved a very positive and fulfilling achievement. Focus on what you can do, not on what you can’t. Small steps turn into miles.”

Speaking at the launch of this year’s walk, Rob Heffernan said “We all know someone who has, in some way, been affected by cancer. 22km is a small challenge compared to what a person going through cancer has to face on a daily basis, and that’s why I’m encouraging people to sign up and take part in this year’s Make Your Mark on Cancer walk, and raise funds that will make a real difference to people living with cancer and their families – making that journey a little easier.”

Speaking about the necessity of the Cancer Care Centre, which funds raised will go towards, Micheál Sheridan, CEO at the Mercy Hospital Foundation said “With one in three of us expected to have cancer at some point in our lives, it is likely we, or someone close to us, will have the experience of sitting in a consultation room and being given devastating news. At The Mercy, we want to make sure that news is told in the most supportive way possible. We are building the specialized Cancer Care Centre next to the Hospital that will provide a dedicated place for people who are dealing with cancer. The ‘Make Your Mark on Cancer’ walk is a fantastic way for people to remember loved ones lost, or indeed those battling cancer; while simultaneously raising much needed funds, to make a real difference to the lives of patients and their families at The Mercy University Hospital.”

‘Make Your Mark on Cancer’ sponsorship cards are now available from committee members, from the Mercy Hospital Foundation, by phoning (086) 4542132, emailing info@makeyourmark.ie or makeyourmarkoncancer facebook page.

For further information or to donate visit www.mercyfundraising.ie or call (021) 4274076.

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