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Preparing for this week's ICU4U Memorial Charity Cycle were, left to right, Eileen Greaney O'Neill, Staff Nurse, ICU; Dr Catherine Motherway, ICU consultant; Anne Calitz, CNM2, ICU and Vera Leahy, CNM2, ICU.

Hospital staff saddle up for cycle in memory of Covid-19 victims

ICU consultant Dr Catherine Motherway will be joined by frontline colleagues from University Hospital Limerick this Thursday in the local effort of a national fundraising cycle to commemorate those who have lost their lives to Covid-19.

Dr Motherway urged the people of Limerick, Clare and Tipperary to support the ICU4U Memorial Charity Cycle, which aims to raise €150,000 for charity partners working with people impacted by the secondary challenges of the pandemic.

The UHL team of frontline healthcare workers, some accompanied with family and partners, includes Eileen and Paddy O Neill, Anne Calitz, Mary Sexton, Vera Leahy, Hanin Hamza, David Murphy, Debbie and DJ Hayes, and Donal Ryan, as well as Catherine Motherway and Christy Curley.

The four charity partners of this year’s ICU4U Memorial Charity Cycle are ALONE (supporting older people); Aware (mental health supports); Aware NI (depression supports in Northern Ireland) and Breakthrough Cancer Research (new treatments for poor prognosis and difficult to treat cancers).

Tweet below features video from last year’s cycle

Getting her trusty bicycle ready for the two-day cycle, which departs UHL on Thursday morning, Dr Motherway, said: “This year’s event is an important commemoration of all those who have lost their lives to Covid-19.”

“We would hope that the public will support our participation by contributing funds for the four excellent charities whose work helps many people who have been adversely affected by the pandemic.”

The ICU4U event will see small teams of ICU doctors, nurses, paramedics, ambulance drivers, other healthcare staff and Gardai depart from each of the six nationwide University Hospitals in Cork, Belfast, Galway, Limerick, Sligo and Waterford next Thursday, with midway points in Dundalk, Athlone, Portlaoise and Kilkenny.

The cyclists will pass through as many community hospitals as possible en route to Dublin, collecting white roses along the way to represent lives lost to the virus.

At the conclusion of the cycle on Friday, a brief commemoration ceremony will be held (in line with public health restrictions) at the Memorial Gardens, Islandbridge, to remember the victims of COVID-19 in front of more than 7,000 white roses, which will be displayed at the gardens for the weekend.

More than half the fundraising total has been achieved through corporate sponsorship. If you would like to make your contribution to the effort, please visit https://www.idonate.ie/event/3038_icu4u2.html

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