Not wishing to leave anybody out, especially younger sisters and brothers we will be making a big fuss about our Kids Splash ‘n’ Dash. This is just what it says, a little splash for up to 8 year olds into the chilly water of The Cove in Greystones and then a dash up the same exit carpet and over the same finish line as the other athletes. We will collect a charity donation of €5 (or as much as you can donate) per athlete entering the splash and dash and support The Martin Family Trust
Leslie and Lynda Martin have three kids, a daughter aged 4, Cathal aged 2 and Ciaran aged 1. Their lives have recently been turn up-side-down by the devastating news that both of their sons Ciaran and Cathal, have late-infantile Metachromatic Leukodystrophy (MLD)- a rare, genetic illness with no known cure.
Cathal was born a perfectly healthy boy in May 2014 and was reaching all his milestones like any other little child. His Parents first noticed a problem when Cathal was having problems walking. After multiple trips to the doctor and Tallaght hospital Cathal was diagnosed with MLD in December last year. He is now almost 3 years old. As a result of this illness, Cathal today cannot walk, or even move very much. He sits in a customized fully supported chair provided by Enable Ireland. Cathal’s muscles are so weak that he cannot feed himself, chew or swallow and from a week ago he is fed through a nasogastric (NG) tube. The rate of deterioration for Cathal has been terrifyingly fast and he may lose what little is left of his ability to speak very soon.
As the whole family were slowly coming to terms with Cathal’s diagnosis they were advised to get Ciaran, Cathal’s baby brother, tested for the same condition. On 28 February doctors broke the totally heart-breaking news that Ciaran too has MLD.
Unlike Cathal, Ciaran has not yet displayed any symptoms of the condition. Tallaght Hospital arranged for Ciaran to be tested for eligibility to take part in a clinical trial in Milan. On 7th March (Ciaran’s 1st birthday), his family flew with him to Milan. Ciaran underwent a battery of tests and is eligible for The Gene Therapy Clinical Trial. This has lit a tiny ray of hope in what has been a very dark time for the whole Martin family.
As Cathal is already displaying significant symptoms of MLD he is not eligible for the Trial.
Ciaran began a six-month treatment programme on 25th March. Treatment starts with an intense Gene Therapy programme, and a course of chemotherapy and he will require 24 hour family support and care. Your support allows one parent to travel to Milan with Ciaran at any time during his treatment. Their other parent will stay at home to look after Cathal’s complex medical needs and also to look after their 4 year old daughter.
Cathal’s diagnosis aged 2 1/2 allowed for Ciaran’s early diagnosis at 11 1/2 months. and his legacy may be that he saves his baby brothers life.
“Our goal is to save Ciaran’s life whilst keeping Cathal as comfortable as possible for the rest of his tragically short life.
We need your help to raise funds so that we can provide Ciaran with the support and care he requires whilst undergoing this intense treatment programme. There are significant costs and challenges involved with caring for two very sick children in two different countries and all support will be gratefully appreciated.
Leslie and Lynda”
The splash and dash is not a triathlon so bikes won’t be needed. Mum’s and Dad’s are quite often very involved in these events as pre race nerves can affect the best of athletes. On that basis, it may be prudent to think of the involved parent when packing race clothes and a full change of warm dry clothes for afterwards!
Registration: will be on Friday 22nd September @ Shoreline Greystones 18:00-19:00 and also on the morning of the event @ Greystones Sailing Club.
Race: The race will immediately precede the first Triathlon race wave. It is essential to ensure that all competitors are registered before 12:30 at Greystones Sailing Club and are ready to start by 13:00 sharp at “The Cove” behind the old La Touche Hotel
We would suggest:
- Splash and dash athletes wear swim suits/togs & a tee shirt (torso must be covered!)
- Wet suits may be worn but are not required
- Swim hats and goggles are not required but are allowed, there is no swimming involved!
- An old pair of runners, crocks or sandals may be worn (recommended) but not required.
- A parent who is willing and capable of accompanying the athlete through the entire course
- A full warm and dry change of clothes is ready for the finish
- Err on the safe side with layers, gloves or a hat just to be safe
Training and mental preparation are very important in this sport so intensive pre-race discussion with parents, siblings and classmates is to be strongly encouraged. Everybody under 8 years of age is welcome to enter the splash and dash and it is not necessary to have a connection to an other Junior Beast of the East competitor. Please tell anybody you think might like to enter and remember that every single penny we collect in entries will be given to the Martin Family Trust, a very worthy cause in our opinion.