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Great Island 10 – A Moving Presentation Speech by Roslyn Crotty



I would first of all like to welcome you all here to this the Inaugraul Great Island 10 Mile Road Race. There are a  few people I would like to mention and thank so if you can bare with me I won’t keep you too long.

As you are prob aware I buried my Father and Sister to Cancer within a year and a half of each other.  Paula was diagnosed with Cancer in  March with Dad’s diagnosis being in June.  This once close nit family was heading on a one way journey  “A JOURNEY OF DEATH“ where heartbreakingly there was no return . With the pain of death comes the pain of anger the pain of bitterness and the hardest of all………………. the pain of unanswered questions

Through this difficult time at home in which Paula was given 5 to 6 days to live she had palliative Care nurses coming at night.  The care and assistance they offered was unreal so it was from this and other heart wrenching inspirations I came up with the idea of The Great Island 10 Mile Road Race.   The strength,  fight and courage they both showed before they died had to be for me the way forward when everything else failed.   It was something to wake me up from this nightmare I was living in.  I needed to turn it into a dream ……… a dream of hope, a dream of life but finally a dream for people still battling this illness.  It was too late for Paula and Dad’s dream but from there death I hoped to “ SHINE SOME LIGHT ON THIS DARKNES” through fundraising for this Charity which in turn might help others get that chance of life.

I had the dream I had the goal I even had the tools but did I have the belief the belief to make this happen?????   True friendship for me was never seen with the eyes it was felt by the heart and there are three people here today that I can’t thank enough for believing .  They became the guiding light behind me Sonya Murphy, Deirdre Carney and my husband Eamonn Crotty.  I will never be able to thank you enough for those first few months after Paula died when I babbled for hours on this run and when others questioned had I this time bitten off more than I could chew…… (for those of you that don’t know me they were right because when this girl sets her heart on something nothing stands in her way)

That belief my friends has bonded us together in a friendship which is imbedded in my heart and also in my eyes…… I look around me today!!!!!!!

It was around this point I started to get in contact with John Walsh of the Ballycotton 10 whom I have to say has to be one of the most modest men I have met in my life.  His help and assistance and gentle manner at all times was unbelievable.  John you are indeed inspirational and I will never be able to thank you enough for your help and assistance over the last year to Eamonn and Myself

The next step was to form a Committee who I have to say worked endlessly to insure today was a success for that I will always be grateful to ye.  Breda Nolan, Ella Mc Carthy, Sonya Murphy, George Wilshaw, Cathal Rasmussen, Trevor Laffan, John Hewitt and  Jan Verwey.  Thank you so much for all ye have done, it will always be remembered,  I really cannot put into words how much Eamonn and Myself appreciate all your help and support it hasn’t gone unnoticed……

What a team we have become!!!!

And last but not least my family.  I want to thank you all so much for all your help and support over the last number of months. Yes we have had a rough 2 years of it but nobody can go back and start a new beginning, but anyone can start today and make a new ending so let us stand here proud in front of Dad and Paula whom I know are here with us and say together as a family we have “SHONE THAT LIGHT ON THE DARKNESS”  we will overcome this grief because one thing that never dies is love and that is one thing we all as a family have strong in our hearts and we again will unite as a family in joy and laughter and we will overcome the  sadness of death.  Hard to think looking back it was possible,  but I not only know it but feel it in my heart as I am sure you do to. Today is the start of a future for us, by bringing some happiness out of such sorrow

My only regret today is it took the pain and suffering of death for me to get up and raise money for charity.  I have questioned if Dad and Paula were still alive would I be here today speaking in front of you and the answer I am afraid is no…..  If I being one ordinary person can achieve this through pain and sorrow what can a town united achieve??????  This question I need to ask.

Sometimes you need to walk the walk of darkness to see the walk of light which I have experienced double handed in the last 2 years.  So for this reason alone on behalf of my husband Eamonn our three beautiful daughters Rebecca, Lauren and Sinead and finally The Great Island 10 Committee I would like to thank you all for coming here today to support The Irish Cancer Society.  I want to thank you from my heart for giving us all this humbling experience.  I also want to thank anyone who helped in any way over the last year.  All I can say is this is now an annual event on the Atlethics Calender so I hope to see you all back here next year where we will continue to raise money for this much needed charity and in the mean time say a prayer I don’t have any more nightmares and if I do i’ll just wake up!!!!!!

Thanking you

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