A heroic challenge to help the needy
After witnessing poverty and deprivation first-hand, Andrew O’Brien is hoping to make a difference through his remarkable running challenge.
O’Brien, a newcomer to distance running, is aiming to complete 12 marathons in 12 months to raise cash for the ISIS Foundation, an international development organisation started in Bermuda 16 years ago.
The actuary, who works in London for reinsurance and insurance group Aspen, embarked on the mission after visiting Kiwoko Hospital in rural Uganda to experience the work done through Aspen’s partnership with the foundation.
He said: “I was so inspired by the strength of character and determination of the people I met there that I set myself the challenge of running 12 marathons in 12 months. The Bermuda International Marathon will be my eighth marathon.
“I believe the richest resource Uganda has is its own people — in the midst of abject poverty, deprivation and sickness the Ugandan people are bursting with life and full of hope.
“As a newbie to running, this has been a huge personal challenge but, after witnessing the daily struggles faced by women and children living in poverty, I feel compelled to help in whatever way I can.”
Since June last year, O’Brien has run marathons in Norway, Switzerland, Berlin, Connecticut, New York and Singapore. He has also returned to Kiwoko Hospital to run a marathon through the Ugandan bush. So far, he has raised $9,725 for Kiwoko Hospital.
“I am very excited about coming to Bermuda,” he said. “This will be my first time on the Island and I’m especially looking forward to it after pulling out due to injury last year.
“‘12 in 12’ was meant to kick off with the Bermuda marathon this time last year so it’ll be all the sweeter when I finally cross the finish line. It’s been a long time coming but I know it’s going to be a fantastic weekend.”
Since 2007, Aspen has developed a strong partnership with the ISIS Foundation. Aspen supports health projects at Kiwoko Hospital, which services 500,000 people and offers a wide range of medical services. Together, Aspen and the ISIS Foundation have provided the hospital with a new and expanded neonatal intensive care unit and a new maternity ward which saves thousands of lives.
To follow or support O’Brien during his ‘12 in 12’, visit his website www.12in12forISIS.com.
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