Andrew McPhillips.

‘It will be a mixture of heaven and hell’ – Retts fundraiser

While Andrew McPhillips may be pushing himself to his physical limit this weekend, it’s all for a good cause.

He will be taking part in the Hyrox Challenge in the RDS, which features eight one-kilometre runs interspersed with eight workouts such as 1,000m on a SkiErg, an 80m sled push, and an 80m sled pull.

From Rockcorry, less than two miles from the Cavan/Monaghan border, Andrew will be doing it to raise funds for his cousin Shauna McPhilips from Scotstown, who suffers from Retts Syndrome. The condition contains symptoms akin to those of autism, epilepsy, Parkinson’s and cerebral palsy. It affects 1 in 10,000 people, almost all of whom are females.

“Shauna can’t talk and requires 24-hour care and has seizures regularly. She started to display signs of the condition when she was a small child and requires 24-hour care from her parents Declan and Marie, who is her full-time carer, and sister Sinead, it’s really tough for them all,” Andrew told the Celt.

Half of the funds raised will go into a trust fund for Sinead to enable her to travel for treatment, with the rest going to Retts Ireland research.

“I’m looking forward to the event”, said Andrew. “It’s in the RDS in Dublin, with thousands entering from around the world. I’ve been training for four months, and I also play GAA and rugby, so I should get through it. It will take around an hour and twenty minutes and it will be a mixture of heaven and hell, although the heaven part will only come at the end.”

He is hoping to both raise both funds and awareness of the condition.

“I have over €5,000 raised, which I’m blown away by, but I’m hoping to make it to €7,000. I’d like more people to be aware of the condition.”