Sinead Wearen with her children Bronagh and Tiernan
A Portarlington woman with plenty of marathon experience has set herself a huge challenge in order to raise funds for Laois Offaly Families for Autism (LOFFA).
Sinead Wearen has completed marathons all across the world including in Greenland, Norway and China to name a few.
After 22 years in the army, Sinead loves a good challenge and her next big goal is to complete four major marathons in the Donegal mountains in four consecutive days this August in The Extreme North Challenge Event.
Sinead has launched an online GoFundMe campaign for people to sponsor her efforts with all of the funds raised going to LOFFA.
This is a cause close to Sinead’s heart as she has seen the work LOFFA does first hand.
“I have a 17-year-old with autism and I have used LOFFA’s services before. It is a four or five year wait for therapy with young children and I haven’t used it in a while but when I did it was €60 per speech and language therapy session and I would get a receipt for that, hand it in to LOFFA and get €40 back, so I know that the money raised is going straight to families.
“I have always pushed my son to reach his limits so I wanted to practice what I preach and go outside my comfort zone. I was told so many things that my son wouldn’t be able to do and he did them so I wanted to push myself,” she said.
In the fundraiser description, Sinead said: "I am going to attempt to run four marathons in four days on the 15th, 16th, 17th and 18th of August in The Extreme North Challenge Event to try and raise money to help families who have a member with autism. Early Intervention is an essential necessity for children who present with Autism Spectrum Disorder.
"Unfortunately, the waiting lists for Speech and Language Therapies along with Occupational Therapies within the public domain are extensive. This leads families, who are desperate to give their child all the help they need, to try and pay for these therapies within the private sector. These additional costs add to what is already a very stressful process - the process of raising a child with autism.
"Laois Offaly Families for Autism subsidize these payments, enabling families to continue to provide care for their children while alleviating some of the financial strain. I have availed of these services from LOFFA in the past and they were very much needed. I would appreciate any amount of a donation and if you cannot donate, please share this post. I know the target sum is large but I also personally know how far this money will go to help."