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Rowing Clubs Unite for Epic 24-Hour Challenge in Aid of Young Cancer Patient

18th November 2022
St Michael’s Rowing Club members are ready to #RowForAlice on Saturday 26 November
St Michael’s Rowing Club members are ready to #RowForAlice on Saturday 26 November

East Coast rowing clubs are undertaking the challenge of rowing around Ireland in 24 hours on indoor rowing machines in aid of Alice Hayes, a nine-year-old girl from Blackrock who has been diagnosed with neuroblastoma, an aggressive type of cancer.

Alice is a bright, beautiful, and brave young girl whose world was turned on its head in April of this year when she was diagnosed with stage 4 high-risk neuroblastoma.

Neuroblastoma is a rare, aggressive, and complex cancer of the nerve cells. Chances of relapse are high, and it carries low survival rates.

“We’re certain she will beat these odds,” say St Michael’s Rowing Club in Dun Laoghaire, who are leading the initiative, “but she needs our help.”

This marks the first time that all 11 rowing clubs along the East Coast — St. Michael’s, Skerries RC, Fingal RC, Stella Maris RC, St Patrick’s RC, Dalkey RC, Bray RC, Greystones RC, Wicklow RC, Vartry RC and Arklow RC — are undertaking a joint fundraising initiative.

Row For Alice logo

Members of the clubs, their families and friends will attempt to row a total of 3,171km in 24 hours on ergometers. Under the watchful eye of St Michael’s captains Gareth Witthington and Nicola Fitzgerald, the challenge will take place on Saturday 26 November from 10 am. The aim is that each person doing the challenge will row for a 30-minute session, which will see people rowing through the night.

The family needs to raise a total of €550,000 to get Alice access to life-saving cancer drugs in a clinical trial at the Memorial Sloan Kettering (MSK) Cancer Center in New York. The funds need to be raised by this Christmas to ensure that she is enrolled in the next available trial group in early 2023.

Clubs hope to raise at least €7,500 for the great cause, and a GoFundMe page has been set up for donations. If anyone would like to join the challenge and row on one of the ergometers in Dun Laoghaire, email [email protected]

Published in Rowing
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