More than 30 women who participated in the Dublin Women’s Mini Marathon alongside dementia advocate Helen Rochford Brennan from Tubbercurry, Co Sligo have raised over €8,000 for The Alzheimer’s Society of Ireland.
The team, who donned their trainers and completed the famous 10k marathon in Dublin last June, are all friends and supporters of dementia advocate Helen Rochford Brennan who was diagnosed with Early Onset Alzheimer’s at the age of 62, and has been working tirelessly to advocate on behalf of people with dementia.
The funds will be split between the The ASI and its Irish Dementia Working Group (IDWG).
Helen is chair of The ASI’s IDWG, an advocacy group populated by people living with dementia who are working tirelessly and voluntarily to give voice to the person with dementia and lobby for change.
The marathon team, who called themselves #StillHelen, was delighted to present the cheque for €8,141 to Tina Leonard, Head of Advocacy and Public Affairs at The ASI at Tubbercurry on Tuesday.
Tina said: “We would like to express our sincere thanks to this fundraising team. The funds will go a long way to help us continue to raise vital awareness of what life is like with dementia and to get the voice of the person with dementia both heard and understood.
“Helen was one the first dementia advocates in Ireland to talk about the struggles she overcomes every day as a person with dementia and has raised awareness of life with the condition exponentially. She is an inspirational advocate and has done more for awareness raising than she knows. We are hugely lucky to have someone of Helen’s calibre on our advocacy group.”
Helen Rochford Brennan, who also participated in the Flora Women’s Mini Marathon said: “it’s fantastic to see people running marathons to raise money for Alzheimer’s, in the past that didn’t happen when the condition was shrouded in stigma and shame.
People with dementia have such a valuable contribution to make to society but they must be given the correct supports to live well. Every person with dementia has a right to live in their own homes for as long as possible, as I always say there is no ward like home.
“As Chair of the Irish Dementia Working Group we are working every day to speak out on behalf of people with dementia, these funds will go a long way to facilitate us to continue our valuable advocacy work. I would like to thank every member of the #stillHelen team for all their hard work.”