With the country in lockdown, most of us won’t be travelling too far for the foreseeable future, but David O’Keeffe is running 250km to honour his late mother Geraldine, and he is doing so all within his local 5km.
David, a 23-year-old law student and Midleton resident whose maternal family hails from Johnstown in Glanworth, has – at the time of writing – covered 200km, and he looks set to surpass his €5,000 fundraising target.
David O’Keeffe is raising funds on behalf of Marymount Hospice, and – so far – he has raised over €4,000. He was inspired to take up fundraising after hearing about the significant funding shortfall experienced by the hospice following the cancellation of most events due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
For David and his family, as for so many others across Cork and beyond, Marymount is a cause which is of great personal importance. In 2018, David’s mother, Geraldine O’Keeffe Ioiart, from Johnstown, Glanworth, died tragically of cancer aged 48.
“Marymount has meant a lot to me since my mom passed away two years ago,” David told The Avondhu. “I will never forget the care it provided, nor the empathy, compassion and kindness shown to my family during the most difficult time of our lives.
“It is hugely important that Marymount’s vital services not be jeopardised, and that patients and their families continue to be supported, as my family was, and so many other families have been.”
When David’s mom Geraldine died, her family was comforted greatly by the care they received from Marymount’s staff, and also by messages of support they received from the families of children whose lives Geraldine made immeasurably better through her great kindness and emotional intelligence in her daily work as a Special Needs Assistant in Balintotis National School, near Midleton.
At a time when every aspect of daily life is challenged by the pandemic, David O’Keeffe said he is extremely grateful for all of the support his fundraising efforts on behalf of Marymount have received so far, and he looks forward to beating his fundraising target of €5,000.
“I have to say, what we’ve raised is far beyond anything I had expected, and it’s certainly made the running all the more rewarding!” said David. “All I can say at this point is thank you so much for all of the kindness, generosity and support shown so far. It is very much appreciated!”
One member of David O’Keeffe’s Johnstown, Glanworth family told The Avondhu, “We could never be as proud of David as his mother, Geraldine, was. But we’re getting there.”
If you would like to help get David’s fundraising efforts for Marymount Hospice over the €5,000 line, donations can be made on his GoFundMe page, https://gofund.me/b506c107.