Friends of a young hurler, who died suddenly aged 23, have completed a 5k a day challenge to raise vital funds for a severe allergy charity in his memory.
Michael McQuillan, who played for the Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA) team Eoghan Rua, passed away in July 2020 from anaphylactic shock in his hometown of Portstewart, Northern Ireland. Michael had a severe allergy to nuts.
Running daily throughout January, the group surpassed their fundraising target, raising over £9,000 for the Anaphylaxis Campaign, a charity that provides support and information on severe allergies across the UK.
Michael’s friend Adam Kerr, also from Portstewart, described the charity as close to his heart and encouraged friends and family to brave the cold whilst documenting their progress along the way on social media. Runners also took part in Blackpool, London and as far away as Australia.
The group have been very keen to fundraise and raise awareness of severe allergies since Michael’s tragic death. Last year they released a memorial GAA jersey in the style of the Eoghan Rua team. It featured Michael’s nickname ‘Smicko’ on the back and proceeds went to the Anaphylaxis Campaign.
“Michael was a much loved and dear friend and teammate of ours and we, as a group wanted to show our support for his family and also do something meaningful that would help us remember him in a positive way. We are just so grateful to everyone who supported us throughout this challenge and hope the money raised goes to helping those in need.”
Simon Williams, CEO of the Anaphylaxis Campaign, says:
“We are extremely grateful to the friends and family of Michael McQuillan who have chosen to support our charity again and we have been cheering them on every day.
“As we receive no government funding, fundraising events such as this help us to continue to provide support to anyone affected by severe allergy and life-threatening anaphylaxis.”
You can continue to support Adam and his friends by donating via their JustGiving page https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/5k-a-dayforsmicko
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