An inspirational Donegal woman was last week honoured with the Lord Mayor’s Medal for running her fifth Dublin Marathon under exceptional circumstances.
Rita Casey (neé Doherty) from Malin Head is a Garda and a mum-of-three who refused to let cancer stop her from achieving her goals.
Rita, who is based in Charlestown Mayo, was diagnosed with stage four brain and lung cancer in May 2021. She previously fought breast cancer and overcame it in 2017.
Running is a great source of stress relief for Rita and, with the assistance of medication, she was able to return to jogging during her current cancer journey.
Last Sunday she made it to the Garda Blue Line and completed the 26.2 mile route in four hours and four minutes.
Rita took up the challenge while also raising over €18,000 for Mayo/Roscommon Hospice, who have supported her following her secondary cancer diagnosis.
Rita has been described as “A true inspiration to all who know her for the bravery, courage and resilience she has shown in battling stage four cancer while endeavouring to live as normal a life as possible for her three girls.”
Rita is also well supported by her husband, former Mayo footballer John Casey, who played in the 1996 and 1997 All-Ireland finals.
Rita received over 40 nominations for the Lord Mayor’s Medal award, which was presented by Lord Mayor of Dublin, Daithí de Róiste, before the event.
Mayor de Róiste was honoured to present the medal to Rita Casey and said: “The Lord Mayor’s Medal presented at the Dublin Marathon is about honouring individuals who have shown true resilience and determination, and Rita exemplifies that. Despite her own personal health struggles, she is running the Irish Life Dublin Marathon to raise funds for the Mayo/Roscommon Hospice, that is a true act of heroism”.
To donate to Rita’s Dublin City Marathon fundraiser for Mayo Roscommon Hospice, please visit: https://www.gofundme.com/f/ritas-dublin-city-marathon-2023