She’s only a third of the way into her month-long March fundraiser but already Tralee woman Eimear Brosnan has successfully raised a huge amount of money for her chosen charity, Recovery Haven.
he 21-year-old, in celebration of being declared cancer free a few weeks ago, has pledged to do a sea swim every day during the month of March to raise funds for the vital local cancer-support charity.
Eimear last August received the shocking news that she had been diagnosed with Hodgkins Lymphoma and immediately underwent chemotherapy and radiation therapy, which were thankfully a huge success. The Ballyseedy native and UL student received the all-clear call at the end of February.
Speaking to The Kerryman, Eimear talked about her treatment.
“It was tough, I think I was preparing myself for the worst so it wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be, thankfully,” she said.
“I was getting chemotherapy for four months, but after two months of that, I had another PET scan and that came back all clear, so I got the all-clear after two months of the chemo but I had to continue on with the treatment anyway.
“I got radiation treatment after that, and then I had another scan at the start of February. I got the results at the end of last month, and it was all-clear. Hearing that news, it was a feeling that I still can’t put into words,” she said.
“It was such a relief, just a weight off my shoulders, really,” she added.
Eimear has only completed a third of her swims so far, but at the time of writing, she has managed to raise a whopping €11,136 – head and shoulders above her original €500 goal – a fact that she said has been simply mind blowing, such is her surprise at everyone’s generosity so far.
“It’s mad, absolutely mad. I’m just after checking it there now again. It’s crazy. I can’t get over it. I had the target amount at €600 originally, and I said to myself that I better put it down to €500 again because I didn’t want to be too optimistic,” she laughed.
“What with COVID and all that’s going on, I just didn’t expect people to be so generous. It’s mad altogether. People’s generosity is really just something else,” Eimear added.
Braving the icy cold sea right now is no mean feat, but Eimear is taking it all in her stride, and while she admits that it’s a tad chilly, she prefers to think of it more as “refreshing”.
“I’d seen people doing the ‘Freezbruary Challenge’, which was in aid of men’s mental health and I thought to myself, ‘jeez, that’s a great idea’, and I knew that if I was going to do it, I might as well do it for a charity. That’s where Recovery Haven came into it; they are just a brilliant charity that’s there for people going through cancer, and the fact they are local as well, they were the ones I wanted to help.
“It was nice to know that the service was there if I needed it, and I spoke to other patients when I was in the hospital who had availed of some of the Recovery Haven services, and they only had great things to say about them,” said Eimear.
Eimear, thankfully, is not going through the fundraiser alone; she revealed that she is getting great support from all of her friends from around Ireland.
“With all the support that I’m getting, it’s a great way to keep me going. I’m very motivated, and I have some great friends doing it themselves all around the country, so we’re all keeping each other going in the swims, which is great,” said Eimear.
Eimear will be doing all of her swims at Banna and, so far, she’s had great weather and she’s hoping that it may continue like that for the month.
Anyone who wants to donate to Eimear’s fundraiser can do so through the link on Recovery Haven’s Facebook page.