Flora Women’s Mini Marathon

Hello Everyone. My name is Mary Hanney and I have two boys with haemophilia – Sean is 17 yrs and Daniel is 13 yrs. I have just completed my 14th Mini Marathon and I have been asked to put pen to paper and write a few thoughts about my experience doing the Mini Marathon.

To tell you the truth, I never gave it any thought before as I’m sure like a lot of families living with haemophilia, a lot of the time you live on auto pilot. I always just applied for my entry number, collected my number at the RDS where I enjoyed all the free samples of food and wine and then did the walk. It was only now that I was asked to write a few words about my experience doing the mini marathon, that I have thought about it. (I can think now as my mind is not as frazzled as it used to be when the boys were younger).

Anyway, looking back to the very beginning when I started doing the Mini Marathon I can see that I have come a long way in terms of self-confidence in dealing with haemophilia. But also appreciating the feeling of achievement that I have in completing so many mini marathons and also giving something back to the Haemophilia Society. Before my boys were born, I had completed the Mini Marathon purely for myself. It was only when my boys were diagnosed with haemophilia that I started walking the Mini Marathon with a view to fundraising for a Society that has given me so much help and support.

As I stood at the start line on the 6th June 2011, I thought back over previous years and started to see comparisons in getting from the start line to the finish line of the Mini Marathon. In getting from the start when Sean was first diagnosed with haemophilia to now age 17 years. I feel that at the starting line you look ahead to the finish and wonder how you will get on. Will you get tired? Will you trip up? Will you be able to get to the finish line? How long will it take? I compare that to when Sean was young. How will I cope? Will I be able to inject him? Will I be able to protect him? How will I manage? As the horn blows and I cross the start line, I realise that I am looking forward to this walk. The atmosphere is electric. Everyone is in a wonderful mood and as we pass certain points along the way a band is blasting out music. As all the ladies pass the bands, the talking stops and everyone raises their hands clapping along to the music. It is truly an uplifting experience. Everyone walks it at their pace, some are trying to run, some are walking very fast and others like myself are just enjoying walking at a steady pace. We pass the fire brigade station where the hoses are spraying water high into the air. Nobody wants to get wet so everyone speeds up trying to avoid the water. And as I reach the 10km mark I look back and see that I have reached this 10km mark many times in my life. When I managed to get my first vein. When I gave my first infusion. When I balanced injecting two boys with a full-time job, and when I trained my eldest boy to inject himself. What fantastic achievements all these were and I never really thought about them before and as I crossed the finish line and beat my time from last year by eight minutes I was feeling very happy.

I collected my medal and I celebrated with my very good friend Adrienne who I walk the mini marathon with every year. We returned to Buswells Hotel where we met up with all the other ladies. We had a very welcome cup of tea and a sandwich that was provided by the staff and volunteers of the Haemophilia Society. Every year they do a fantastic job and I was presented with a scroll from the Haemophilia Society recognising my achievement. My friend Adrienne walks the marathon for the DSPCA but she is still very welcome for a cup of tea and a sandwich by all the staff. Good friends are so important to have to help you along your path in life. You know every one of us ladies in Buswells that day had every right to be proud of our achievements. We really don’t applaud ourselves enough for what we achieve in life. Especially in dealing with haemophilia so I ask all you mothers dealing with haemophilia to think back on your achievements – no matter how big or small – and give yourselves a big pat on the back.

I would encourage you all to take part in the Mini Marathon at least once. It would do wonders for your self-fulfilment and it would also be helping to raise much-needed funds for the Haemophilia Society – plus it is a fantastic fun day out with all your friends. I will sign off now hoping that next year I will see you all strutting your stuff on Leeson Street.

Mary Hanney