Family is everything and for four Co Leitrim siblings the love they have for the youngest member of their family has inspired them to cycle and run 600km in a bid to raise much needed funds for the Children's Health Foundation Crumlin, formerly CMRF Crumlin, and Friends of the Coombe.
Ríaghan, Caragh, Ornaith and Éabha-Mae Guckian from Carrick-on-Shannon, Co Leitrim have been very busy over the last few weeks in a bid to raise as much as possible for these very worthy charities.
They have already raised an astonishing €5,200 in just a few weeks and have impressed so many with their amazing effort.
The inspiration behind the fundraiser is their youngest sibling Senan, who was born in January 2020 at just 31 weeks gestation in the Coombe Women's and Infants Maternity Hospital in Dublin.
In the biography provided on the family's idonate site their parents, Paddy and Patricia note: “Looking back at that moment, a journey began for us that manifest a strength within us that we never knew before, the NICU journey and beyond.
“After a number of drawbacks in the very early days, including a bleed on the brain at one week old, Senan spent just short of six weeks in the neonatal unit in The Coombe.
“Leaving hospital four days after giving birth without your baby is one of the most nerve-wracking and surreal experiences any parent could encounter. However, knowing that we were leaving our little newborn preemie in the safe and experienced hands that we left Senan in made this journey home and the days and weeks that followed, somewhat more bearable.
“The care and attention that Senan received from the doctors and nurses in NICU in The Coombe is something that will reside with us forever.
“A phonecall at any time of the day or night to check in on how Senan was doing was always received with a happy greeting at the other side of the phone.
“They shine a beaming light through those days of darkness and uncertainty that surround a families NICU journey.
“Senan's sisters and brothers never met him in person until he left NICU, but they listened to these phonecalls and saw endless amounts of videos and photos that never left them under any illusion that their baby brother wasn't being looked after like a little king! He was a little trooper through it all, and his little fighting nature gave us strength every day.
“Before Senan's discharge from NICU, when we thought things were really looking bright, we received the news that any parent would dread. Our beautiful little boy had been diagnosed with congenital heart defects - ASD, VSD & pulmonary stenosis. Senan was immediately placed under the expert care of the cardiac team in Crumlin hospital. We are so grateful to his cardiologist and team for the care he has received since then, and indeed into the foreseeable future. Any trip to Crumlin has been made stress free by the wonderful staff there, and with only one parent allowed to attend appointments and admissions, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, we have always been treated with the utmost compassion on these occasions.
“Senan's siblings (with a little help from mammy and daddy) are going to do a combination run/walk/cycle 600 kilometres over the next month. We are hoping to raise vital funds for the two aforementioned hospitals, as a token of our gratitude to them for the service they have provided and continue to provide us with.
“We would hope that families in our situation in the future could reap the same benefits and experiences as we have. We will be forever indebted to the doctors and nurses in NICU and Crumlin for their expertise and the care which Senan has and continues to receive from them.
“The monies raised from this fundraiser will go directly to NICU in The Coombe and The Heart Centre, CHI @ Crumlin.
“These vital funds are used for things such as to purchase essential equipment and for ongoing research implementation, which will benefit many babies born too small, too sick, too soon, and children with heart conditions and their families, both now and in the future.”
To make a donation to support this very special fundraiser you can do so through their idonate page: