Lilliput Adventure Centre will be buzzing tomorrow, Saturday August 23 when families and friends of people with autism join occupational therapist Denzil Jacobs as he runs to raise €25,000 for those affected by autism.
Denzil who is based in Saplings School for Children with Autism in Graiguecullen, Carlow is taking on a challenge so tough it would leave even the most hardened sportsmen quaking in their boots. He is running 12 marathons in 12 days; one in every county in Leinster!
The Westmeath leg will take place in Lilliput Adventure Centre and speaking ahead of the challenge race director Bill Porter said: “Its going to be a great day, Lilliput Adventure Centre is a great location and perfect place to start the run from. We are very grateful to everyone in the adventure centre for accommodating this event.”
The proceeds will be split evenly between the national charity Irish Autism Action (IAA ) and Saplings Graiguecullen. All money raised will be used to fund early intervention diagnosis which is so critical, one to one support, purchase of communication aids such as tablets, and specialised equipment for sensory rooms.
Sheelagh McCann-Hunt from Mullingar is a mother of an autistic child; speaking ahead of the charity fundraiser she said: “The IAA stepped into our lives at a time of crisis where our day-to-day living had been taken over by the severe behaviours of our then four-year-old son Donnacha, who has autism. With their support we implemented a structured home and school plan. With a busy family and work life, with four children between the ages of one and 14, IAA’s input and support were invaluable. They quite simply transformed our chaos into the more normal family life we craved. It is rare to receive anything in life without the expectation of anything in return, let alone with the professional and supportive manner in which the IAA delivered it. We can’t express our gratitude enough.”
Along with raising much-needed funds Denzil hopes to raise awareness of autism amongst the public. Twelve marathons in 12 days is an extreme challenge, but in Denzil’s own words “People living with autism face their own marathon every day of their lives”.
For more information or to donate log on to www.Denzils12in12.ie