AISLING Feeney may be afraid of heights, but that wasn’t enough to stop her from abseiling down a 167ft building to help raise money and awareness for the Miscarriage Association.
The brave Killyclogher lady, who recently abseiled down the face of the Europa Hotel, has raised more than £800 for the charity since January – and money is still coming in.
The Miscarriage Association is a charity which offers support and information to families who have been affected by the loss of a baby in pregnancy.
For Aisling, who has sadly suffered from two miscarriages, the charity has been a source of vital support and comfort.
“I am petrified of heights, but I really wanted to do something challenging to fundraise for the charity,” the Omagh County PS teacher explained.
“When I suffered from my first miscarriage, I was absolutely devastated. However, the nearest support groups I could attend were either in Derry or Craigavon. So instead, I went on the Miscarriage Association online forum, and found helpful support and answers to the questions which I was asking from people who were going through the same thing.”
Offering Aisling important moral support during the abseil and helping her face her fears, was her partner, Paul Devlin, her mum, Anne Feeney, and Paul’s sister, Laura Smyth.
During their abseil, the four donned a pair of angel wings to symbolise precious babies who have gone to heaven and charity awareness t-shirts.
“The abseil was tough to do,” Aisling said. “I actually panicked half-way down, but there was such a sense of achievement when I reached the ground.
“Knowing that I was able to face my fears and raise awareness for an important cause was amazing.”
However, Aisling feels that even more awareness needs to raised locally for people who have personally experienced a miscarriage.
“One thing that I have learned since fundraising for the charity, is that there are so many local people who have gone through what I have,” she said.
“However those who have suffered from a miscarriage don’t talk about it, and this is because they fear that other people aren’t able to relate to them or simply won’t understand as they haven’t been in that situation.
“The best piece of advice I can give is for people to confide in their close friends and family, keep themselves distracted when they are feeling down and don’t be afraid to contact the Miscarriage Association for help.”
Aisling has expressed her biggest thanks to everyone who has donated to the Miscarriage Association so far.
• To donate, visit www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Aisling-Feeney2.
• If you have been affected by a miscarriage and would like to talk to Aisling about your personal experience, contact Ulster Herald journalist Victoria Housden at firstname.lastname@example.org and she will put you in touch.
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