Kilkenny Rugby Club will be buzzing on Wednesday, August 20 as many families and friends of people with autism join Denzil Jacobs as he attempts to run 12 marathons in 12 days.
The occupational therapist wants to raise €25,000 to help families and children with autism. That is one in every county in Leinster, and Kilkenny runners or walkers are being invited to take part.
Kilkenny running and triathlon enthusiast Irene Henebry will be race director on the day. There is the option to run a full marathon, half marathon or 10k.
The proceeds are to be split evenly between the national charity Irish Autism Action and Saplings Graiguecullen. All money raised will be used to fund early intervention diagnosis, one-to-one support, and purchase of communication aids such as tablets and specialised equipment for sensory rooms.
Local parent Donal Dunne says the essential services such as occupational therapy and speech and language therapies are currently inadequate. “This makes life extremely difficult for families living with autism,” he said.
“Every euro raised by Denzil will help improve these services and that is what we all want.”
Denzil, who is based in Saplings School for Children with Autism in Graiguecullen, admits it is an extreme challenge but says people living with autism face their own marathon everyday. He will begin his marathons in Carlow on August 19 and finish in Tullamore County Offaly on August 30. The Kilkenny route will be mainly along the Waterford road, on a route familiar to many who have done the Carers Mini Marathon.
More details on registration, donation and routes log onto www.Denzils12in12.ie.