Team James head to Corkagh Park to raise funds for Barretstown

by Mark O'Brien
Team James

Locals looking to get their running shoes on and help a great cause should head to Corkagh Park in two weeks’ time for the inaugural Team James Run for Barretstown.

The event will take place on Sunday, September 16 as part of South Dublin County Council’s Health and Well Being Week.

The run is being organised by Team James, a group that has tirelessly raised funds for Barretstown.

Lucan lad James Casserly (12) has Cerebral Palsy and Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis (JIA).
His mother Vicki said he was inspired to raise funds for Barretstown after spending time there himself.

She said: “After he (James) was diagnosed with JIA, Crumlin Hospital referred him for a week of Fun in Barretstown.

“In March 2015, we went down as a family for a weekend of the famous #seriousfun and to say James loved it doesn’t quite cover it.

“He was then invited down for a week of fun on his own in July as part of their summer camp.

“This was James’s first time away from home without family.

“He came home oozing of confidence, with a smile that could light a room, revived and excited. All sickness forgotten about.

“Barretstown instantly became extremely special to James.”

Part of the treatment for JIA involves chemotherapy and biologic treatments.

Unfortunately, due to the nature of James’s condition, the medication was not fully effective.

“Before Christmas, James became a little down, as you would knowing things still were not under control,” said Vicki.

“At this point, we met Mark, of Insanity Fitzone. We explained to Mark what was ongoing with James, introduced them and they instantly hit it off.

“Mark kindly offered to help James get back on his feet.

“Movement is so important for anyone suffering from JIA; although painful, in the long term, it will help.

“Going to the gym gave James another burst of energy.”

James and Mark decided to run the Dublin Marathon and raised over €85,000 for Barretstown.

James also became the youngest person to complete the marathon in a wheelchair.
Since then, Team James has grown and evolved.

James’s dad, Dan Naughton, has taken up running and completed the Limerick Marathon with James.

This year, father and son will complete the Dublin City Marathon.

“James is very excited to have the opportunity to do this alongside his Dad,” said Vicki.

But before that, Team James inviting people to have an epic day of fun in Corkagh Park.

To register for the event, click here.

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