SHE would be proud of their bravery.
So said Rosalin Sheridan of her sister who will be remembered this weekend at ‘The Tara Sheridan Dip in the Nip’.
Rosalin has been fielding telephone calls in recent weeks, from those who have signed up for the event, on June 18, who are a bit nervous about the fundraiser.
It’s the same kind of trepidation her sister Tara felt ahead of her first ever Dip in the Nip, which she did back in 2009, in Sligo. But it was an experience she described, in the Evening Echo, as ‘life changing’. At the time Tara, a holistic health practitioner, from Glanmire, had battled cancer, not once but twice. She was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma, aged 25, only nine months into her marriage. She underwent stem cell treatment at Cork University Hospital and returned to full health.
However in her mid-30s, she was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma — a completely different type of cancer. Subsequent to this Tara was diagnosed with breast cancer. She sadly passed away in January 2014, aged 44.
Her husband John and family have hosted the Dip in the Nip since 2014 in her memory in Cork and it was renamed ‘The Tara Sheridan Dip in the Nip’.
This weekend, more than 100 brave souls will run into the waters at a secret location in Cork, in aid of three worthy charities that touched Tara’s life — Marymount, Cork Girls Club and Cork Dragons.
Rosalin said there is still a short window for people to sign up and take part in the event.
She said people are expected to travel from all over the county and country for the event — all with their own individual reason.
“They come on their own, they have not necessarily been affected by cancer, they might have a different story.
“There are regulars who take part every year, including members of Cork Dragons, who are made up of survivors of breast cancer, and of which Tara was a captain.”
Dragon boating is important to breast cancer survivors, for their physical health and also social wellbeing.
Rosalin said this year’s location, as in previous years, is kept secret up until the day before, to respect people’s privacy.
“It is an incredibly brave thing to do,” she said, especially given what many of them have gone through.
A lot of those participating find it “incredibly empowering” she said — just like Tara did all those years ago.
Rosalin said: “People think it is skinny dipping, but it is much more, it is about empowering. Everyone has their own story, their own reason for doing it, it is not just cancer, they have their own reason to celebrate an achievement or to mark a loss.”
The beach will be divided with a separate section for men, another for women and a separate place for the under 16s — which they only started last year and includes a dress up element — she said some of these young people are dipping to remember a family member, or friend, or teacher, or a loved one.
Rosalin said some of those taking part are nervous, which is natural: “I had so many texting, ring over the past few weeks, people who are nervous, but want to do it.”
She added that Tara would be so proud of them all.
On the morning of the swim, people will gather at a named location and be bussed to the beach, where there will be zumba and face painting and some participants will dress up.
Every year representatives from Cork Dippers and the Girls Club takes part.
“The siren goes off, there is great energy, great fun.”
She said dome people stay in the water 10 to 15 mins, others dip in and out.
Afterwards there is a great sense of achievement on shore afterwards.
“It is very peaceful, people remember why they are there.”
Registration for the event has been extended. If you want to take part contact email@example.com, call 0868159086 or find them on Facebook at Corcaigh Dippers or on Twitter at Cork Dippers.