A CLARE teenager with cerebral palsy will brave the pain barrier this weekend when she is pushed 50km in a loop from Lahinch to Ennistymon, Kilshanny, Lisdoonvarna, Doolin, down by the Cliffs of Moher, Liscannor and back to Lahinch.
Nicole Norton has convinced over 100 of her transition-year peers, plus teachers, from around the county, to push her along the challenging, undulating route in West Clare to raise awareness and funds for the Clare Crusaders centre, which was founded by her mother, Ann.
The push was launched this week at Shannon Airport and will take place on Saturday, just five months after the St Flannan’s College student underwent severe and potentially life-threatening spinal surgery at Temple Street hospital.
Nicole will forgo her specially-designed motorised chair for a wheelchair, pushed in relay groups comprising teachers and fellow transition-year students from her own school, St Flannan’s College, as well as from Rice College, Ennis; Colaiste Muire, Ennis; Scoil Mhuire, Ennistymon; Kilmihil Community College and Spanish Point Secondary School.
Nicole has already exceeded her fundraising target of €2,000.
“I wanted to do something special in transition year to raise awareness and funds for Clare Crusaders, which does incredible work for young people like me,” she said.
“I had my operation last November and wanted to use the wheelchair push as part motivation for my recovery. I set myself a target of being as well as possible for this and I am so excited now that it is upon us.
“I will be spending a lot of time in a chair I’m not accustomed to but I will have great company.
“I’m really blown away by the number of people who have volunteered for this,” she added.
Proceeds from the event will go towards the €250,000 it takes annually to run, and employ eight therapists, at the Clare Crusaders centre in Ennis.
Anyone who wishes to help or participate on the day, or to donate to Nicole’s TY 100 Wheelchair Push, can do so at www.mycharity.ie/event/nicole_nortons_event/