Ready for Mini Marathon challenge in aid of Marymount after four and a half stone weight loss

Ahead of The Echo Virtual Women’s Mini Marathon this weekend, CHRIS DUNNE talks to one woman who is taking part for a very special cause
Ready for Mini Marathon challenge in aid of Marymount after four and a half stone weight loss

Jennifer Lingwood at the Lough, Cork. Picture: Denis Minihane.

JENNIFER Lingwood might be a busy mum to twins Billy and Donnacha, aged five, who just started school, but she still finds time to stay fit and prepare for The Echo Virtual Women’s Mini-Marathon in aid of a cause close to her heart - Marymount Hospice.

There is another reason Jennifer has a pep in her step.

“I lost four and a half stone last year with Slimming World! I feel great! 

"I was never a walker or a runner but now I am much more active.”

Jennifer, from Greenmount, Cork, feels confident and ambitious now that she is fit and healthy.

She’s taken part in The Echo Women’s Mini-Marathon before, for Breast Cancer Ireland.

“That was back in 2015 and for another great cause.”

This year, Jennifer is all geared up for the virtual mini marathon in aid of Marymount Hospice.

“I hope to do the mini-marathon all in one go if the weather is good,” says Jennifer.

“I’ll head down to the Marina. My hubby Liam isn’t signed up but he might come along with me on the day.” What do her boys think of their mum’s mission?

Jennifer Lingwood at the Lough, Cork. Picture Denis Minihane.
Jennifer Lingwood at the Lough, Cork. Picture Denis Minihane.

“They don’t take much notice about my training, but they are interested to see the t-shirts and sponsor cards coming in.”

Both Jennifer’s Uncle James and her Nan, Kitty, availed of the wonderful services at Marymount University Hospital and Hospice.

“My uncle, James Mullane, suffered from bowel cancer and he was transferred to Marymount from the Mercy Hospital. He was in Marymount Hospice for two weeks and he got the very best of care there.

“My Nan passed away from breast cancer in 2011 and she also received great care at Marymount. Everyone was so kind to her at Marymount Hospice when she was in respite.

Jennifer Lingwood with husband Liam and children Billy and Donnacha.
Jennifer Lingwood with husband Liam and children Billy and Donnacha.

“I feel I want to give something back. Doing the mini marathon for Marymount is my way of saying thank-you. I think it is a great cause and so worthwhile.

“The treatment, the respite care and the end of life care provided by Marymount are so valuable both for the patients and for their families.”

Loved ones and their families have always been looked after very well at Marymount. Its origins date back to 1870 with its foundation of the Religious Sisters of Charity in Cork. The original hospital was built on the north-side of the city on Wellington Road.

The ‘People’s Hospice’ opened in Curraheen in August, 2011, a modern, purpose-built high quality facility serving the people of Cork and Kerry.

Jennifer’s loved ones were well cared for at Marymount.

“I was close to my Uncle James,” says Jennifer.

Jennifer Lingwood is fundraising for Marymount.
Jennifer Lingwood is fundraising for Marymount.

“The Covid restrictions were hard but I did get to see him before he died. He knew I was there beside him and he squeezed my hand. I know he’d be happy knowing that I am supporting Marymount and the vital services it provides for patients and their families.”

Jennifer’s Nan got royal treatment at Marymount too.

“She even had an odd tipple!” says Jennifer laughing.

Everyone was made feel welcome.

“The families of patients are looked after very well too,” says Jennifer.

“My mam and my aunt were able to stay five nights with James. They were made very comfortable and they were fed and watered. It was good that Uncle James had company given the times that it was. They asked if they were allowed to stay and the answer was yes.”

Jennifer is saying yes to doing the mini-marathon this year for Marymount.

“I started getting more fit last September and I am well up for the mini-marathon,” she says.

The mum-of-two always stays the distance.

“I still make the Slimming World recipes. I’m aiming to lose five stone; I have five pounds to go. Then I can celebrate!”

MORE ABOUT MARYMOUNT

Each year, Marymount needs to raise €3.5 million in order to sustain its current level of services. Fund-raising is used to partially fund staff costs of front-line services.

In 2020, fundraising efforts were significantly impacted by Covid 19 restrictions when all planned events and activities had to be cancelled.

Marymount is the designated Specialist Care Centre for the Cork/Kerry region serving a population of approximately 600,000.

Marymount University Hospital and Hospice is a health-care facility which provides two distinct services.

The Elderly Care Facility provides respite care, intermediate palliative care and continuing care for older people.

Marymount Hospice provides care to patients with progressive illness, both cancer and non-cancer, when pain or other symptoms need addressing.

Support is offered to families suffering a loss or who are bereaved.

HOW TO TAKE PART THIS YEAR

The Echo Women’s Mini Marathon virtual race day goes ahead this year on September 19. But don’t worry, if you can’t do your virtual 6k on that date, you can do it between Friday, September 16 and 26.

Registration this year is as follows;

a) Early Bird, €10 = includes a race number and medal

b) After Early Bird Closes = €15. There will be the option for people to set up an iDonate fundraising page for registered charities.

You can register for the event at the new site: www.echolive.ie/minimarathon.

Also, keep an eye on social media @theechominimarathon

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