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After an incredible journey of hard work and fundraising, Sophies Journey Foundation will reach the end of the road this year. After an incredible journey of hard work and fundraising, Sophies Journey Foundation will reach the end of the road this year.

Charity

Sophies Journey Foundation to reach its journey’s end this year

After an incredible journey of hard work and fundraising, Sophies Journey Foundation will reach the end of the road this year.

Sophies Journey Foundation to reach its journey’s end this year

By I Love Limerick Correspondent Tara Byrne 

Richard pictured with the Mulcahys including the beautiful Sophie in pink. Picture: Caleb Purcell

Richard pictured with the Mulcahy’s including the beautiful Sophie in pink. Picture: Caleb Purcell

After an incredible journey of hard work and fundraising, Sophies Journey Foundation has decided that by the end of the year, the foundation will come to an end. 

Sophies Journey Foundation was developed by her parents, Liam and Stacey Mulcahy, as a foundation in January 2015 to support families who were dealing with children with life-limiting conditions in memory of their daughter Sophie who sadly passed away from kidney failure on October 23rd, 2014. This is a much-needed service during a critical time of a child’s life. The funds raised go directly to supporting in-home care for children with life-limiting illnesses in the Limerick area.

Liam, Sophie’s father said, “We are not ending the Foundation based on financial elements, it’s purely the fact that we as a family feel the Foundation and the club have carried Sophie’s name with pride and honour for so long in doing amazing work for Limerick kids and national charities for 14 years that it’s time to say goodbye.”

Initially, Liam was fundraising in Sophie’s honour under the name Cycle4Sick Children as a cycling club that raised funds for children’s charities but once Sophie passed they set up Sophie’s Journey Foundation to focus on kids with life-limiting illness and to raise funds for local children’s organisations.

Pictured creating a mural at San Joseph Children's Respite Centre - Liam Mulcahy, Sophie's Foundation, nurse Majella Short, Stacey Mulchahy and Dion O' Dowd. Picture: Billy Butler/ilovelimerick

Liam Mulcahy, Sophie’s Foundation, Majella Short, Nurse at San Joseph Children’s Respite Centre, Stacey Mulcahy, Dion O’ Dowd. Picture: Billy Butler/ilovelimerick

Sophie was born with a rare condition called 1Q43 and was born on July 12, 2006, in the Coombe Maternity Hospital. She was immediately transferred to Our Lady’s Children’s where she would have an amazing six heart operations in seven months. Sophie spent the majority of her stay in Cardiac ICU 2 ventilated fighting battle after battle. This condition, along with her 7 months in Crumlin left Sophie unable to walk, talk or feed herself.

Throughout her short few years, Sophie inspired so many people to achieve the impossible and she was at the centre of many events that brought people together. Anyone who knew her well was touched by her. Liam and Stacey started fundraising in 2007 to thank the organisations who saved her life and helped raise huge funds that went to families to help with the children’s needs. 

Sadly Sophie passed away in October 2014. Sophie’s family have given 100 percent commitment to this foundation in memory of Sophie’s legacy and to help improve the conditions that families with children with life-limiting endure on a daily basis.

There are many treasured memories from the various events and projects the Foundation has been involved in.

Sophie’s Journey Foundation has raised tens of thousands of euro for charity through events such as the annual Sophie Mulcahy Memorial Cycle and the annual Sophie Mulcahy Memorial Run. 

Pictured at the new Mungret Inclusion Park and Playground were, Kayla Mulcahy, Lexie O'Donoghue, Aoife Carroll, Liam Mulcahy, Sophies Journey, Valerie Dunne, C4SC, Gerard Lynch, Team Sophie, Christine O'Donoghue, Keith Walker, Kompan and Dion O'Dowd. Picture by Alan Place.

Pictured at the new Mungret Inclusion Park and Playground were, Kayla Mulcahy, Lexie O’Donoghue, Aoife Carroll, Liam Mulcahy, Sophies Journey, Valerie Dunne, C4SC, Gerard Lynch, Team Sophie, Christine O’Donoghue, Keith Walker, Kompan and Dion O’Dowd. Picture by Alan Place.

In 2013, Liam approached the Limerick Council, while working through Cycle4Sick children, with a sketch of his plans for a park for the Limerick community that would be inclusive of people of all abilities. This led to the birth of Mungret Inclusion Park and Playground. 

In 2015, Liam and his wife Stacey, along with the help from volunteers took to San Joseph Children’s Respite Centre to paint their back garden area in memory of Sophie. This area is an integral part of the centre as it is where the children spend a lot of their time when the weather is good. The paint job brought a new lease of life to the garden, brightening the area up.

The foundation had a fantastic support element called ‘Team SophieMul’ named in honour of Sophie. The group consisted of cyclists and runners and all people who wanted to become actively involved with the foundation. It actively created awareness for children with life-limiting conditions. Together, they helped improve lives by organizing and partaking in events and challenges.

Liam added, “We want to thank the doctors, nurses, ambulance staff, caregivers, sponsors, volunteers and supporters. We want to think of the people we have helped to create the beautiful Mungret Park and other fantastic projects our beautiful Sophie has inspired. Thanks so much for your help and support you have been amazing throughout.”

Patrons of Sophie’s Journey Foundation included JLT Condor Cyclist David Mc Carty, Deca Ironman 32 Marathon Man Gerry Duffy, Legendary Runner Sonia O’ Sullivan, Limerick Hurler Graeme Mulcahy, World Track Cyclist Caroline Ryan, Former Pro Cyclist and Awarding Journalist Paul Kimmage, Team GB Cyclist Chloe Selman, Pro Cyclist Sam Bennett, Former Irish and Munster Rugby Player Denis Leamy.

Recently, another ambassador for the foundation Irish hurler Barry Hennessy raised a total of €2900 by completing a four-mile run every four hours. These are only a few of the wonderful events organized to help raise money for children with life-limiting illnesses.

Sophie’s Journey Foundation has one big project coming up, Operation Garden Transformation, transforming Mary and Taylor Rose’s back garden. At present, the garden is not wheelchair accessible but this is going to change. This has been planned for a while but was delayed due to Covid 19. You can also support the project by donating to Sophie’s Journey Foundation. Due to Covid 19 guidelines, the project can’t have a volunteer capacity for work. You can help this beautiful young lady hopefully enjoy some newfound freedom.

Sophie’s Journey Foundation, after transforming the garden, will then have one more project before the Foundation will finish for good. Liam concluded his goodbye by saying, “Thanks again to everyone who has remembered Sophie throughout and has been there when we needed you. Stay safe through these mad times and we will see you all soon for the final event of Sophie’s Journey, with thanks, Liam and Stacey.”

To donate to Sophie’s Journey Foundation go HERE 

For more stories on Sophie’s Journey Foundation go HERE 

Richard is a presenter, producer, songwriter and actor. He was named the Limerick Person of the Year (2011) and won an online award at the Metro Éireann Media and Multicultural Awards (2011) for promoting multi-culturalism online. Richard says that the ilovelimerick.com concept is very much a community driven project that aims to document life in Limerick. So, that in 20 years time people can look back and remember the events that were making the headlines.

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