Newry’s man takes on London Marathon to help grant wishes of terminally ill children

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Friday, April 4th, 2014
Community, What's On
On Sunday 13th April, Shane O’Callaghan from Newry in County Down is running the 2014 Virgin London Marathon for Starlight Children’s Foundation, a national charity that grants the once-in-a-lifetime wishes of seriously and terminally ill children and provides entertainment in hospitals and hospices across the UK. The world famous 26.2 mile course stretches around the River Thames and Shane, who is 43 and an IT Professional, will be running alongside a whole host of famous faces and some of the world’s greatest athletes in aid of Starlight. The money that Shane is raising will not only help Starlight bring fun, laughter and distraction to lots of poorly children across the country, but it will also enable the charity to grant the once-in-a-lifetime wishes of brave children like Shane’s son Ryan. Ryan has Right Ventricular Cardiomyopathy, which is a serious heart disorder that causes him to have low oxygen levels and poor tolerance to exercise. He used to be on oxygen twenty-four hours a day but now only needs it at night, which has greatly improved the quality of his life. Ryan has to take regular medication throughout the day and is fed through a peg pump at night for the majority of his needs as his body is unable to gain enough nutrition through normal eating. He may eventually need a heart transplant as the long term prospects are unknown but at the moment his condition remains stable. The prospect of having a Starlight Wish has made Ryan very happy and excited – he told his mum that this was a “magical time” and it has been wonderful for his family to see his delight. Ryan’s Starlight Wish is linked to his greatest love in life – Lego! His wish is to go to Legoland in Windsor with his mum, dad, brother and sisters and Starlight will be granting his wish just days before the London Marathon. This is the first time that Shane has done the London Marathon for Starlight. Shane said he chose the charity because “we are really excited about our trip to Legoland. Knowing that Ryan’s wish is being granted by Starlight inspired me to run for the charity and the thought of helping Starlight to bring smiles and laughter to other children like Ryan will help me to keep going for 26 miles!” With 92p of every pound raised going directly to Starlight’s children, the money that Shane raises really will make a massive difference to very poorly children in Northern Ireland and across the UK. To help Shane raise as much as possible, please go online at or call Starlight directly on 020 7262 2881.
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