When Sinn Fein MLA Caoimhe Archibald lines up with all the other runners in Dublin on Sunday, one person will be in her thoughts throughout the 26.2 mile course.
The East Derry Assemblywoman is running the marathon, for the third time, to raise funds for the cancer charity, CLIC Sargent. She’s been inspired by her friend’s little boy, Conor, who was diagnosed with leukaemia at the end of August.
“Cancer touches all of our lives, unfortunately, “ said Caoimhe. “I’ve lost two uncles much too young to it, but it was quite a shock to hear that a normal, active little boy was sick like that.
“It has obviously been a very difficult time for my friend, her partner and family. She has a daughter who just turned seven, and is a nurse herself, so she had to try and balance all of that with her son having to stay in hospital for several weeks.”
Caoimhe, who was elected to represent East Derry in the Assembly in May, said she wanted to do something to help Conor, and others fighting cancer.
“The treatment for cancer is so tough, and it is difficult to see a child go through that, but it has been inspiring to see Conor fight off being ill and still have a smile on his face doing little boy things,” she said. “So, my little contribution to my friend and to the fight against cancer is to use my marathon effort to raise awareness and some funds for CLIC Sargent and also to highlight the importance of blood donation.”
My little contribution to my friend and to the fight against cancer is to use my marathon effort to raise awareness and some funds for CLIC SargentCaoimhe Archibald
As a regular runner, Caoimhe says the training has been going fine, although she admits it’s been a challenge fitting it in around the long days at Stormont, but she’s looking forward to the big race on Sunday.
To support Caoimhe on her fundraiser go online at https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/CaoimheArchibald1
Caoimhe added: “All donations would be very much appreciated. I’d also like to encourage anybody who is able to donate blood to do so regularly.”
A blood drive in support of Conor takes place on 15th December at Crumlin Road Gaol.
CLIC Sargent was formed in 2005 and CLIC Sargent provides emotional, practical and financial support to young cancer patients and families during and after treatment.