RATHFARNHAM local Cian Hogan, along with friends Ciaran McHugh and Aoife Gray, presented a cheque for €14,434 to the Mater Foundation – the official fundraising body of the Mater Hospital – to support its Family Heart Screening Clinic.
The money was raised from the hugely successful Rory Hegarty Memorial Fight Night; a charity ‘white-collar boxing’ event held on Friday, March 3 in Club 92, Leopardstown in memory of their young friend Rory (inset right), who passed away from Sudden Adult Death Syndrome (SADS) in 2009.
Rory was less than a month short of his 17th birthday when he died suddenly in his sleep.
He grew up in Rathfarnham and attended St Mary’s Boys National School and Terenure
An extremely popular lad, Rory is missed greatly by his mother, Sally, and siblings Sadhbh and Neil, as well as his large circle of friends in the Rathfarnham/Terenure area.
Since his passing, his friends have organised annual football tournaments to celebrate Rory’s life and to bring everyone who loved him together.
This year, however, they decided to spice things up with 34 amateur fighters taking to the ring to “rumble for Rory”. A group of his friends began intensive training six weeks before the event and by the time they entered the ring they were well-prepared for the intensive bouts.
Cian said: “It was very important to us to support family heart screening in memory of our friend Rory. The Family Heart Screening Clinic at the Mater does incredible, lifesaving work and we hope our efforts will spare other families the pain of losing a loved one.
“We are still amazed with the support we received from day-one, and friends and local businesses were more than generous with donations and giving us a hand. It was a real testament to how special Rory was to everyone.”
On the night, a crowd of more than 700 people arrived at Club 92 to show their support. Together, they were each part of a special event for a special person and raised an incredible amount of money.
The funds will support the clinic to test families from all over Ireland for inherited cardiac conditions, such as SADS. Every week in Ireland, one person under the age of 35 dies from an inherited cardiac condition, and since 2007, the clinic has screened almost 9,000 people, saving hundreds of lives in the process.
The clinic is almost entirely supported by the Mater Foundation and receives limited government funding.
Tom Hickey, head of fundraising at the Mater Foundation, said: ““What Cian and his friends have done is truly amazing.
“Family heart screening at the Mater has saved hundreds of lives since it began its work 10 years ago. This fundraiser showed the wonderful strength of support for Rory’s friends and family, but also a determination to ensure other families never have to lose those closest and dearest to them.”