ICU4U Memorial Charity Cycle
Frontline medical staff throughout the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland will cycle to the Memorial Gardens at Islandbridge in Dublin this September, to remember those who have lost their lives to Covid-19. They aim to raise €150,000 for those impacted by the secondary challenges of the pandemic through 4 chosen charity partners:
- ALONE (supporting older people)
- Aware (mental health supports)
- Aware NI (depression supports in Northern Ireland)
- Breakthrough Cancer Research (new treatments for poor prognosis and difficult to treat cancers).
The ICU4U event will see small teams of ICU doctors, nurses, paramedics, ambulance drivers, other healthcare staff and Gardai depart from each of the six nationwide University Hospitals in Cork, Belfast, Galway, Limerick, Sligo and Waterford on 2-3 September, with midway points in Dundalk, Athlone, Portlaoise and Kilkenny. The cyclists will pass through as many community hospitals as possible en route to Dublin, collecting white roses along the way to represent lives lost to the virus.
At the cycle’s destination on Friday 3rd September, a brief commemoration ceremony will be held (in line with public health restrictions) at the Memorial Gardens, Islandbridge. The ceremony will remember the victims of Covid-19 in front of 7000+ white roses, which will be displayed at the gardens for the weekend.
On Saturday 4th September, members of the public will be invited to visit the commemoration site to take a rose and remember a loved one, making a charitable donation if they so wish.
Remembering 7000+ lives lost to Covid-19
The 2-day ICU4U Cycle, which will strictly adhere to public health restrictions, will remember all those who lost their lives to Covid-19. It is a collaboration between healthcare staff at The Mater Dublin, Cork University Hospital, The Royal Victoria Hospital Belfast, Galway University Hospital, Limerick University Hospital, Crumlin/Temple St, Sligo University Hospital, and Waterford University Hospital.
The event follows on from last year’s ICU4U fundraising cycle when doctors, nurses and staff from Ireland’s Intensive Care Units (ICU) successfully raised €120,000 for these charities. At the time, many working in the ICU felt uncomfortable with being labelled heroic and wanted to turn the focus back on those most in need and help charities to raise funds to keep their services running.
We hope you will support this collaboration of the medical community to help us remember those who have lost their lives over the past 18 months and to provide hope for the future for others.
To donate, click on the blue button at the top right of this page
Thank You to Our Sponsors
More than half of the fundraising target has already been reached through incredible corporate sponsorship.
ALONE, a national organisation that supports and empowers older people to age happily and securely at home, saw a 39% surge in calls to their helpline since the start of the Covid-19 crisis, with a rise in reports of elder abuse, loss of independence, and fears about reintegrating back into society. Their new Health and Wellbeing Plan addresses key issues that continue to affect older people in the later current Covid-19 Roadmap, including social interaction, activities, fitness, and physical and mental wellbeing. The charity works with all older people, including those who are lonely, isolated, homeless, living in poverty, or are experiencing other difficulties, supporting them through these challenges to help find long term solutions.
Aware, the leading mental health organisation providing support, education and information services for those impacted by depression, bipolar disorder and other mood related conditions, has recorded a 68% rise in calls since the emergence of Covid-19, with significant peaks in April, May and July of over 80%, highlighting the impact of the pandemic on public wellbeing. Since the start of the crisis, Aware has modified the way the organisation delivers its services to address logistical challenges and meet the increase in demand for services. The introduction of an app allows volunteers to take calls at home ensuring continuity of the Support Line service, Aware’s Support and Self Care Groups have been replaced with Zoom and conference call meetings, and they significantly increased delivery of their online positive mental health programmes, along with moving a number of group programme to the virtual classroom.
Breakthrough Cancer Research (Breakthrough) is an Irish medical research charity focused on disrupting cancer’s future and saving lives, one research breakthrough at a time. The charity had to put some of its research and even clinical trials on hold over the past few months because of temporary restrictions to university laboratories and hospitals, as well as the widespread cancelation of fundraising events. Many people also avoided investigating new symptoms and health complaints during the lockdown which will most likely lead to a delay in cancer diagnoses. When every second counts, new and better treatments have never mattered more.
ICUsteps Dublin, a national voluntary support group that helps those recovering from critical illness with long-term physical and psychological consequences, has been working with many Covid-19 ICU patients throughout the country. COVID adds to the distress of ICU patients, including increased delirium, disorientation and difficulty communicating with staff wearing PPE, as well as being separated from family. They advocate for the provision of aftercare in the shape of a formalised follow up after ICU discharge to the ward and a follow-up clinic. These measures may reduce some of the long-term problems and improve quality of life.