Intensive care unit (ICU) staff from Cork and around the country are today beginning a two-day cycle to raise money for four charities supporting people specifically affected by the Covid-19 crisis.
The ICU 4 U Charity Cycle aims to raise at least €100,000 for Alone (older people), Breakthrough Cancer Research (new cancer treatments), Aware (mental health) and ICUsteps (ICU patient aftercare support).
Cyclists in Cork departed from Cork University Hospital earlier this morning, with teams also departing from Belfast, Galway, Limerick and Waterford today.
In total, 15 teams from around the country will cycle to Dublin as part of the event.
The concept for the charity cycle arose as many Irish doctors, nurses and ancillary staff of the Intensive Care Units across the country said that although they immensely appreciate the ongoing support of the Irish public throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, they are uncomfortable being labelled ‘heroic’ and ‘frontline’ and want to turn the focus back on the patients and the supporting charities that help the most vulnerable in society, in particular those most affected by the Covid-19 crisis.
“Many ICU staff are uncomfortable with being put up on a pedestal during the Crisis, as we are just doing our jobs albeit in challenging times. We are extremely grateful for the gifts we received from the public but we need to put the focus back where it is most needed – with the patients and charities. The impact of Covid-19 reaches far beyond the ICU, and we are only beginning to see the secondary challenges, in particular with the elderly, those in nursing homes, those experiencing anxiety and mental illness, Covid-19 ICU survivors, and cancer patients who are particularly vulnerable to the virus, have had their diagnosis delayed, and urgently need new treatments,” said Chief organiser, Dr. Patrick Seigne, Consultant Intensivist at Cork University Hospital ICU.
To donate, log on to icu4u.ie