By Charlie Keegan
LAST Tuesday 27 September, would have been the 21st birthday of Carlow schoolgirl Chloe Doyle, whose life was cut cruelly short by illness when she passed away on 11 May 2016 at the age of 14.
In her final days, Chloe, a second-year student at Gaelcholáiste Cheatharlach, was treated by the doctors and nurses at Our Lady’s Hospital for Sick Children.
Chloe’s mother Emma Burroughs remembers the kindness Crumlin Hospital showed towards her sick teenage daughter and the respect and consideration shown towards the Burroughs family at a time of great trauma and unbearable loss.
So Emma made a decision that she would give something back to the Dublin children’s hospital by participating in a fundraising daily walk of 10,000 steps, organised by the Children’s Health Foundation.
The fundraiser is titled ‘STEP’TEMBER 10,000 a Day’. The monies raised countrywide will go towards Crumlin and Temple Street Children’s Hospital in central Dublin.
Starting on Thursday 1 September, the 41-year-old mother of four (Emma includes Chloe within the family circle) set out on her first 10,000 steps.
Emma lives with husband Karol Doran and their three children – Jack (13), three-year-old Max and Beibhinn (2) at the Rathglen Estate in Killeshin, Carlow. Karol takes care of the children while Emma puts on her walking shoes each day. During her daily walks, Emma puts in her headphones to listen to her favourite music.
She has opted to do practically all her daily walks around the popular outside walking track at Palatine GAA grounds in Bennekerry, which is her native area. Chloe is buried in Bennekerry Cemetery.
Emma has travelled some weekends to see her mother Carmel Fraher in Dungarvan, Co Waterford. When she is in the Déise, Emma walks her daily steps around Dungarvan.
It is appropriate that today, the 27th day of her fundraising mission, coincides with Chloe’s 21st birthday. Including today’s walk count, she has completed well in excess of 270,000 steps. Some days she achieves much more than the minimum walking stipulation of 10,000 steps.
And to prove to all and sundry that she is hitting her daily targets, at the end of each daily run, Emma puts up proof of her walking tally on Facebook and Instagram.
Having joined the fundraiser, Emma was set a modest financial target of raising €300 on her solo walks.
She told The Nationalist: “I have raised well is excess €1,200, four times my original target, and have four more days to go, so there is more money yet to be raised.
Some of Emma’s sponsors in her ‘STEP’TEMBER 10,000 a Day’ pay in cash, while she is being sponsored also by supporters on her Facebook page. People can donate directly to Emma by clicking on the link to her Facebook page – the link is public.
When Emma concludes her September walking mission this Saturday, there is a two week-period until Friday 14 October for people to subscribe to her most worthy cause.
Emma concluded: “Chloe would have been 21 today, so it is prefect that this Child Health Foundation initiative for the two Dublin children’s hospitals is happening in the month of September.
“I just wanted to give back to Crumlin hospital and it is a nice way for people to remember Chloe today, when she would have come of age.”