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Going to great depths to break a record

DIVING enthusiast Christy Healy is always prepared to go to great depths to raise awareness and crucial funding for children suffering with disabilities and life-threatening illnesses.
The Kilmaley man is noted for his charity dives and already has one of his underwater feats recorded in the Guinness Book of World Records. Now he is committed to undertaking two more diving challenges this year in the hope of setting more world records.

First up is a planned scuba dive on Lough Derg on Sunday. Christy plans to swim 20km without surfacing – twice the distance he achieved when creating his world record two years ago.

Funding secured from that record-breaking dive was donated to the Share A Dream Foundation, a national children’s charity dedicated to making dreams come true for critically, chronically and terminally ill children throughout the country.

Christy himself knows all too well about fighting illness and of the immense effect it has on the whole family. Back in March 2010, his son, Stephen, was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma, a cancer of the lymphoid tissue.

At the time, the diagnosis devastated Christy and his family. It was a very worrying and traumatic time in the lives. Thankfully, however, after six months of chemotherapy and a kidney operation, Stephen was given the all-clear.

The close encounter with a life-threatening illness of his son and the subsequent involvement of his family with the Share A Dream Foundation inspired Christy to embark on his remarkable journey to raise awareness and funds for children suffering throughout Ireland.

“I am really looking forward to this new challenge. The support and encouragement I have received from the public has been really heartening and I am delighted to be raising awareness and funds for sick children all over Ireland,” Christy told The Clare Champion.

With his two latest dives, Christy will be fundraising for both the Share A Dream Foundation and Temple Street Children’s Hospital in Dublin.

Founder of the Share A Dream Foundation, Shay Kinsella has been bowled over by the courage and compassion of Christy in undertaking these charity dives.

“Christy is a fantastic man to attempt another world record. His determination and strength totally identifies with the children we work with, who are battling with illness every day of their lives.

“It is only through the fantastic efforts of people like Christy that we can continue to help bring a smile to the faces of these children,” said Mr Kinsella.

Share A Dream Foundation receives no funding from the Government or any other agency and relies totally on the generosity of the community.

To find out more about its work, contact 061 200080, www.shareadream.ie or dreams@shareadream.ie.

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