Aidan’s swim raises thousands for St Joseph’s
FUNDRAISER FOR TRIOBIKE RAISES OVER €8,500
AIDAN O’Toole, father of champion swimmer Gary, did himself and his family proud on Saturday morning at the Glenview Hotel.
He swam 60 lengths non-stop and raised more than enough for a triobike for St Joseph’s nursing home in Shankill.
Aidan’s wife Kaye has been a resident there for the past year. The money raised from the swim is going towards a €7,500 triobike for St Joseph’s.
The bike, which battery-operated, similar to a rickshaw and can accommodate two people at a time plus the operator.
The event was captured on film by another Bray man, Ciaran O’connor, and his film production company New Decade.
The fundraiser, which was only launched five weeks ago, proved a resounding success. People rallied around from all walks of life contributing and culminating with funds over and above the cost of the triobike, with around €1,400 raised for a second bike.
Two people who wished to remain anonymous kicked off proceedings with very generous donations. Both people were associated with Aidan’s former swimming club Triton.
Friends and connections also donated, along with businesses, councillors, the ordinary man and woman on the street, and online contributions. ‘Many thanks to the nurses, carers and supporters of St Joseph’s, who braved the elements and early start to watch the swim and lend their vocal support,’ said Mr O’Toole.
He said that the swim element was really just to promote the project.
‘But it worked, with great interest shown,’ said Mr O’Toole. He said that this was his first ever competitive swim and his fastest, longest and last.
He did the 60 lengths in a time of 30 minutes, 43 seconds, alternating from freestyle to backstroke. This was 15 lengths more than he ever swam before in his life.
The swim also helped erode some memories from the past. Only a few years ago following a swim in the same pool Aidan had a heart attack requiring two stents and the same week while in hospital had a stroke losing the use of his left arm and leg plus his speech for 10 hours. Happily, he made a full recovery.
‘It was also my ambition to create more awareness about Alzheimer’s and dementia and a plus for senior citizens to show they have a role to play in society as well,’ he said.
‘I also wanted to do this as a personal project without involving any of our family for help as they all contribute in their own way. Everyone associated with St Joseph’s, which is dedicated to dementia care, are brilliant, facing problems 24/7 with a smile on their face. They are so inspiring and deserve all the support they can get. This is a condition with no cure or solution affecting over a half million people worldwide and increasing daily which is worrying for future generations.’
Aidan O’Toole swam 60 lengths non-stop on Saturday morning.