“If I can do it, you can do it.”
This is the message from our inspirational brain injury survivor Jack Fadden from Kildare as he urges you to join him in the Clane 5k/10k Family Fun Run on November 10 in aid of our charity. The event is sponsored by T&I Fitouts and AMOSS Solicitors. At just 28 years old, Jack is training hard to achieve his goal of running the race in full for the first time. And he wants you to join him!
Jack Fadden returns with Kildare’s biggest fun run this November
More than 650 participants took part last year (2017) and this year, it is expected to grow even bigger. The Clane 5k/10k Family Fun Run is fast becoming a firm favourite on the Irish running calendar. It’s all about making life better for our brain injury survivors right across Ireland, with €35k raised to date.
Aim for your goals
Jack said: “Like many people after a brain injury I’ve struggled with fatigue and memory problems. With the help of my family, friends and keyworker, the Clane 5k/10k was created three years ago. Organising this event has motivated me to build up my physical strength. And it has tested my memory with planning and organising. In year one I walked 5k. In year two I walked and jogged 5k and now in year three my aim is to run 5k in full.”
Seven years ago, at just 21 years of age, Jack suffered a brain injury caused by a bleed on the brain. It left him unable to walk, talk or eat. And it happened when he was six thousand miles away from home after travelling to Thailand on his way to Australia. It was a shock when one of his friends found him unconscious in his room.
“I had to learn how to walk, talk and eat again.”
The young carpenter was rushed to hospital in Thailand. He remained there for three months before his family were able to fly him home. Then Jack spent a further three months in the Mater Hospital in Dublin relearning how to talk and eat again. Jack left hospital in a wheelchair to go for intense rehabilitation with the NRH (National Rehabilitation Hospital). Eventually he was discharged home to begin community rehabilitation with an Acquired Brain Injury Ireland keyworker, Aidan, who gave him the confidence and motivation to get his life back.
Jack said: “I made a promise to myself that I would never sit in a wheelchair again and from that day to this, I have fought every day to further myself and I refuse to give up. In the beginning I struggled to walk for more than 20 minutes and there were times when I felt like giving in. But with Aidan’s support, I refused to let it define me.”
Getting his life back
Thanks to the support of his keyworker Aidan from Acquired Brain Injury Ireland, Jack feels he has regained his life. He is now back driving with confidence which is incredible. And he is studying to become a healthcare assistant so he can help other brain injury survivors. He has also joined his local running club and now runs three or four times a week.
Jack is unstoppable
Our Head of Fundraising with Acquired Brain Injury Ireland, Jonathan Power,said: “Jack is an incredible inspiration to everyone who meets him. He is fabulous ambassador for our charity. Organising an event on this scale is an enormous task and Jack has a fantastic network of support around him, making it happen. Jack’s determination and commitment to help more brain injury survivors is unstoppable.
Where the money will go
“Every day in Ireland, 35 people acquire a brain injury from stroke, road traffic accidents, falls and assaults. The funds raised from this event make an enormous difference to our work. This year, everyone who takes part in the fun run will be helping to fund a new day facility serving Kildare and West Dublin. Our day services provide essential peer support and training for people affected by brain injury. This is often the final step before someone returns to independent living.”
Clane 10k & 5k Family Fun Run 2018, 10 November, 10am-12.30pm. 5k ticket €20, 10k ticket €25. Entrants receive a technical tshirt and bespoke medal. Post-race refreshments provided courtesy of Clane GAA.