When Rory Staunton died from sepsis at age 12 years in April, 2012 he left behind a huge grieving family in Mayo. Cousins, who Rory considered some of his best friends, gathered to mourn the passing of a loving young boy who always brought a smile to everyone’s face. Rory was intensely proud of his family and he and his little sister Kathleen looked forward every year to spending their summers in Mayo. He stayed in Knappagh, Westport, and loved day trips to Thallabawn Beach near Louisburgh with most of his cousins, and visits to his cousins in Glenhest, Newport, Castlebar and Kiltimagh.
Like his cousins, Rory always supported a good cause. Rory’s cousins, led by Ronan Staunton from Castlebar, have decided to raise money for sepsis awareness and the Rory Staunton Foundation. Sepsis is the largest killer of children worldwide and sepsis can be treated if caught on time. Early recognition of the symptoms of sepsis is crucial to survival and the Rory Staunton Foundation’s mission is to spread the word about this deadly killer. Rory’s cousins are determined to remember Rory.
This Sunday, January 25, 22 of Rory’s family and their friends will gather in Bray, in Wicklow, to complete the Hell and Back Challenge. The Hell and Back Challenge is specifically designed to push one’s physical and mental boundaries to the limit in Ireland’s most severe weather conditions. Rory’s family and friends will run the challenge together to raise money for the Rory Staunton Foundation.
Ronan Staunton, Rory’s cousin from Castlebar who is organising the group said: “I lived with Rory for six months in New York and I too became influenced by his ambition to help other people and always wanting to do the right thing, whether it was the popular decision or not. Rory stood for everything that was right with the world. I think that the fact that so many people want to part of this group shows how we want to continue his dream. No one should die from sepsis because they or their doctors don’t know the symptoms. We want to save lives.” The group of 22 range in ages from 16 to 50 years, including two of Rory’s uncles. Donations can be made at rorystaunton.com/hell-back-fundraiser-ireland/