This is a story of our inspirational supporters, the O’Neill family, who are running once again, in this year’s VHI Women’s Mini Marathon for St. James’s Hospital in honour of their mam, Babs and also their uncle, Charlie.
Jack, Georgina, Lydia, Maurice, Gillian & Jennifer tell us their story in their own words…
Team Babs & the Women’s Mini Marathon
“As long as the mini marathon is running our mam Babs had always taken part. She had been doing it for different charities such as Our lady’s children’s hospital and Temple Street hospital and then finally, St. James’s Hospital was her final charity to do it for.
We all knew in our house that the Monday of the June Bank Holiday was “Mam’s day out” ! Herself and her pal Geraldine O’Reilly would put their runners on and pound the pavements of Dublin for the 10k, still to this day Geraldine is still taking part with us!”
So why St James’s Hospital?
“Mams brother Charlie was diagnosed with stomach cancer and attended James’s hospital for his treatment. Sadly, after a short time, Charlie passed away so mam pledged to do her bit for him and we started to fund raise for the oncology ward.
Then in November 2011, we got the devastating news that mam had been diagnosed with a rare form of cancer in her lungs (Mesothelioma).
She was such a fighter though and through all of her Chemo, clinical trials, tests and every bit of bad news she still went on to take part in the Mini Marathon in 2012 with Geraldine, Lydia, Georgina, and Jennifer.
Mam got through her 10k aided by a wheelchair but she still finished it and got her medal which still stands pride of place at home.
Oct 25th 2012 Babs lost her fight peacefully at home with all of us there and that was the spark that ignited the O’Neill Gang in to running.
June 2013 was our 1st mini marathon “In Memory of Babs” we roped in our Aunt, cousins and a few friends and got our T-shirts printed and Babs was proudly placed on all our backs to guide us along?
The feeling crossing the line that day was so emotional we had done it and it was all for her and a charity she really held so close to her heart…as we do now.”
The Running Bug!
“That was it…our running bug had been ignited! We then did a few ramble aid 5ks/10ks and then April 2014 we all did the great Ireland run. June 2014 our runners were laced up again and this time we decided to run with a time in mind and we did it! Our 1st mini marathon as a runner and mam on our back the whole time!
After that, “Team Babs” decided to take on the big 1… the 2014 Dublin City Marathon! So with the help of Mark Lacey and our Insanity fit zone marathon crew, we trained insane every week through hail, rain and shine all for 1 big reason…Babs.
Again team Babs laced up our runners held our heads high and with heavy hearts hit the Dublin streets, coming over the finish line was amazing we always say it, she’s there with us every step!”
And this year?
“Team Babs have big plans this year and with the help of our family and friends we hope to double the number taking part in the Mini marathon for the St. James’s hospital foundation.
Our total fundraising for 2015 was €1,378 so this year again we aim to double that…”
Go Team Babs!
Jack, Georgina, Lydia, Maurice, Gillian & Jennifer