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GAA legends set for Alzheimer Society of Ireland fundraiser

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GAA legends set for Alzheimer Society of Ireland fundraiser

Ciaran Carey, Kathy Ryan and Kevin Quaid

Two leading Munster dementia advocates, Kevin Quaid and Kathy Ryan, who both have a dementia diagnosis, have called on the public to rally behind a Tipperary v Limerick legends hurling match in aid of The Alzheimer Society of Ireland.

The fundraising drive, which will see legends from the Munster titans face-off to raise vital funds and much-needed public awareness of dementia, will be held during World Alzheimer’s Month 2019 on Saturday, September 7 at Nenagh Éire Óg grounds.

Tickets for the event, which has the backing of the Tipperary and Limerick GAA County Boards, can be purchased via Eventbrite at €15 for adults and kids going free with all the money raised going towards providing community services and advocacy supports in the Munster area and beyond.

Kathy Ryan was diagnosed with Younger Onset Alzheimer's in January 2014 at the age of 53 and is a mother to two boys and lives in Cashel.

Kathy got involved in advocacy work because she wants to break down the stigma of dementia and last September she completed part of the Camino to raise funds for the ASI.

Kevin, who is originally from Broadford in Co Limerick but now living in Kanturk, Co Cork, was diagnosed with Lewy Body Dementia in 2017 aged just 57, is an avid GAA fan and speaks about the fighting spirit of the Limerick hurling team and the fact they never gave up. He brings that same spirit to his life with dementia and has written a book called ‘Lewy Body Dementia, Survival and Me’.

This fundraising initiative was the brain child of the dynamic duo, Kevin and Kathy, over a cup of tea when they were discussing ways to give something back to the ASI after everything the charity had done for them – so the inaugural ‘Kevin Quaid and Kathy Ryan Legends Cup was created which will bring Tipperary and Limerick hurling legends of yesteryear together to battle it out for the prize come September.

Vice-Chair of the Irish Dementia Working Group (IDWG), Kathy Ryan said: “The vast majority of people diagnosed with dementia want to live in their own home and stay active and involved in their own community.  In order for this to happen we need our communities to become more dementia aware, to understand some of our needs.  This hurling legends match is a perfect way to bring dementia into the heart of the community.  When a community is dementia aware, it makes the difference between us living as well as possible or staying at home behind closed doors, which has a hugely negative impact on our health and wellbeing. The funds raised from this match will help people with dementia in the community – I am so grateful to the Limerick and Tipperary county boards in particular  for getting behind this game and all the warm wishes from both counties and beyond that we have received so far. I really hope the public will get behind us and support the legends match. I am really looking forward to it. Come on Tipperary!”

Hurling legends such as Joe Quaid and Ciaran Carey have signed up already. Tickets for the match are available here.

For more information visit www.alzheimer.ie .