Debra’s firewalking challenge to help raise funds
By Mary Dennehy
A CLONDALKIN mother has encouraged members of the community to ignite their New Year by taking part in one of the hottest challenges in town – a burning-coal walk in aid of children living with a painful skin condition.
Living in St Mark’s, Rachel Connors’ daughter Casey (4) is living with epidermolysis bullosa (EB), an incredibly painful skin condition that causes the skin layers and internal body linings to blister and wound at the slightest touch.
According to Debra Ireland, the charity established in 1988 to provide support and services to EB patients and their families, there are currently 300 people nationwide living with the painful skin condition.
In order to continue with its mission to provide care, lobby on behalf of patients and families, develop treatments and ultimately find a cure, Debra Ireland is holding a fundraising on January 27 – which will see individuals take a short walk over three meters of wood embers burning at 800 degrees.
Rachel, who took part in the firewalk last year, said: “People with EB live with constant pain, skin blisters and open wounds and currently there is no cure, the only form of treatment is constant painful bandaging of the skin.
“Debra Ireland is striving to end this heartache by providing support to EB patients and funding research to find treatments and cures for EB and skin cancer.”
Those brave enough to take up Debra’s firewalking challenge should emerge from the experience unscathed but invigorated.
Judith Gilsenan, Head of Fundraising for Debra Ireland, said: “Far from being impossible, firewalking is truly awesome and after doing it you feel you can achieve whatever you are aiming for in life.
“It’s an amazingly empowering experience and a chance to ignite your passion and discover what you can really do.
“A firewalk might sound a bit scary but it is people with EB who are the real superheroes and they need our support.”
The Debra Ireland Firewalk will take place in the Stillorgan Park Hotel on Friday, January 27.
Those taking part are asked to pay a registration fee of €50 and raise €200 for Debra Ireland.