This year is the 10th anniversary of our son Matthew who passed away on 11 August 2004 aged 12. In his short life he made such a huge impact on everyone that he met. He loved people and when you met him he made you feel so special. For all his difficulties Matthew lived life to the full and that was in no small way due to the love and care that he received from our wonderful family and friends. He has left a special bond between us all and that was so evident when we first mooted the idea of marking Matthew’s 10th anniversary with an extra special fundraising effort on behalf of TSA. Everyone has thrown their support behind us and been so generous with their time and donations – not to mention the physical efforts too!

There has already been a day to celebrate Matthew’s life; nephews, nieces and friends completing the Belfast half marathon (one nephew completed the Belfast and Dublin half marathons in the same week); a coffee morning; and a sponsored cycle. And it was in the midst of these events that Matthew’s auntie and Godmother Diane hatched the plan for a tri-continental triathlon. This will involve a sprint triathlon (750m Swim, 20K bike ride, and 5K run) being completed in the USA, Europe and Australia: Diane and her family in Pennsylvania USA; Matthew’s auntie Shauna and uncles Damian and Michael with his family in Bangor, Northern Ireland; Matthew’s auntie Julianna and her family in Leeds; Matthew’s cousins Tracey and Laura in London; and our good family friend Jenny in Melbourne Australia.


Matthew’s auntie Julianna has put together the ‘Tri for Matthew’ website which has all of details about the triathlon. We’d love you to go to the website and have a read about Matthew and this ambitious fundraising event. You can also leave a message of support or make a donation via the website, both of which would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks to Emma at TSA for all of her help and enthusiastic support throughout this year. We hope to post another article towards the end of the year once all of the events have completed. Keep your fingers crossed for us J!

Eamonn McConville