After being diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease, journalist Charlie Bird raised €2.7 million during his Croagh Patrick climb, for The Irish Motor Neurone Disease Association and Pieta, as part of the Climb With Charlie campaign.
But his fundraising efforts didn’t end there as the former Washington correspondent joined thousands across the country to take part in one of Pieta’s Darkness Into Light walk to raise money for suicide prevention.
Joining the Bray walk, Charlie began the event with some thoughtful words. Telling the crowd; “During my own recent ‘Climb with Charlie’ event, one of the candles I lit in the church at the top of Croagh Patrick was for everyone who has struggles every day, those who are in dark places and have their own mountains to climb.”
One of the events organisers Danny Bohan of the Bray Lions Club explained just how special it was to have, “the legend that is Charlie Bird” walk with them.
Telling the Irish Independent; “People are aware of Charlie’s own difficulties with his health. He’s actually lost his voice completely in the past week. He’s been here with us and through the wonders of science managed to deliver a very powerful message.”
“Of all the walks we’ve been involved in, today really is an exceptionally emotional morning.”
So far the Wicklow events for Darkness Into Light have raised over €38,000.
Charlie Bird completed his Croagh Patrick climb at the beginning of April and raised over €2 million for the chosen charities.
After reaching the top with his wife Claire, Charlie said to the cheering crowd; “I love every single one of you, I mean it, always extend the hand of friendship.”
His Climb With Charlie campaign has seen fundraisers in over 150 locations throughout Ireland, along with efforts abroad in The United States, Canada, England, Australia and Dubai. According to their latest figures the campaign has raised around €2,731,248.98
On the money raised, the former RTÉ broadcaster has said; “As a journalist for 40 years, I have come across the spirit of generosity of the Irish people many times. But the outpouring of support that I have received over the past few months has stunned me beyond belief.”
For more information head to darknessintolight.ie