A Monamolin family alongside over 40 family members, friends and neighbours ran the VHI Women’s Mini Marathon 2019 in memory of their three-year-old son Ollie Dempsey who died suddenly on January 2018.
The parents of Ollie, Jane and Barry, set up the charity Ollie’s Mission in 2018 in memory of their son, nominated FirstLight as their chosen charity for 2019. FirstLight provides free professional counselling support to families whose child has died suddenly.
The family theme for the marathon was Paw Patrol, which was Ollie’s favourite television programme, and organising began early in the year with the help of Jane’s sister and friends. Speaking about the day Barry and Jane said; “Barry and I are so grateful to our family friends neighbours and colleagues, the support was an still is truly amazing even from strangers with their donations, we can’t thank people enough, each and every one of one of our participants had an amazing day and are already speaking about next years’ marathon”.
Speaking about the donation, FirstLight CEO Fionnuala Sheehan said; “FirstLight is truly humbled and grateful to have been selected by Barry and Jane for such an honour. We would like to sincerely thank the Dempsey’s, their family, friends, the Monamolin community, and many others far and wide for their tremendous generosity. Ollie’s legacy will be of great help to us in the months ahead with supporting so many other families throughout Ireland whose child has died suddenly.”
FirstLight (formerly Irish Sudden Infant Death Association) was established in 1976 by Eimear Berry who herself was a bereaved mother after her son, Brendan, died of SIDS in 1975. FirstLight provides crisis intervention and free professional counselling services throughout Ireland to bereaved parents and family members who have suddenly lost a child up to 18 years.