The runners hope to raise €100,000 for a life-changing operation for two-year-old Faith Browne from Castletownroche.
Faith has spastic diplegia cerebral palsy, which means she cannot walk, crawl or even sit up unassisted. Faith also has a rare hearing condition called Auditory Neuropathy Spectrum Disorder (ANSD).
Her parents, Lisa Browne and Dave Carroll, have searched tirelessly for a treatment, with one option available in St Louis, Missouri.
The operation, called Selective Dorsal Rhizotomy (SDR), treats muscle stiffness by separating the rootlets in the spine. It is believed that this, teamed with some intensive physiotherapy, will help Faith to finally walk, skip and play like her older sister Lydia.
The €100,000 target will pay for the operation and four weeks accommodation, flights and intensive physio in Missouri, as well as up to three years of private physio and equipment after the operation.
The family has received a number of generous donations from people all over Ireland so far, including footballer James McClean, who donated €1,000. There is a long way to go, though.
“The 80km run will hopefully raise awareness of our fundraiser for Faith. We all just want Faith to live a pain-free, independent life one day and this operation in St Louis is what we’re counting on to transform,” said Michaela Browne, Faith’s cousin.
“To see Faith walk, skip and dance one day would be a dream come true for us all.” Runners from a number of athletic clubs are expected to turn out on the day to show their support for Faith.
They will tackle a gruelling ‘80k in one day’ run from Killarney to Faith’s home in Castletownroche on April 29.
- For more information or to make a donation to the cause, visit Faith’s Go Fund Me page on https://www.gofundme.com/289n7xbs.