Earthquake Cycle in aid of Time for Tilara takes place this Sunday

By Alan Sheehan

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The seventh annual Earthquake Cycle takes place this Sunday, 5 March in aid of Time for Tilara.

The Earthquake Cycle 2017 will raise money for Midleton five-year-old Tilara Costa-Holmes who was diagnosed with spastic diplegia cerebral palsy to undergo a complex spinal surgery that could improve her quality of life.

This year’s Earthquake Cycle offers a 75km cycle sportive six-rider team challenge and a 10km Tremor Cycle for novice cyclists. Entry is €20 and registration takes place at St John the Baptist National School, Dungourney Road, Midleton on Saturday, 4 March from 4-6pm and on the race day from 7am. The race itself begins at John the Baptist NS at 8.30am for teams and 9.30am for the sportive section.

“We have a trust set up for her and a GoFundMe Page,” said Natasha Costa-Holmes, mother of Tilara. “The Earthquake Cycle is organised by Philip Cunningham. He has been seven years running it. Basically it started fundraising for a charity in New Zealand. They fundraised for that for the first year and different charities every year since.”

The Earthquake Cycle held its inaugural event in 2011 as a fundraiser for a charity in New Zealand following the earthquake in Christchurch that claimed the lives of 185 people. Organised by Phillip Cunningham, the Earthquake Cycle has been held for different charities following its beginnings six years ago with Time for Tilara being the latest beneficiary. Tilara’s father Stephen Holmes will join the other cyclists on the day.

Tilara was diagnosed with spastic diplegia cerebral palsy when she was a year old and the condition restricts her movement and causes chronic pain. Time for Tilara is a trust set up by Tilara’s parents, Natasha and Stephen, to raise the €140,000 by August for her selective dorsal rhizotomy (SDR) surgery and post-operative rehabilitation.

A successful SDR surgery corrects muscle spasticity by cutting the nerve rootlets in the spinal cord that are sending abnormal signals to the muscles., which reduces or eliminated spasticity in the patient’s legs. Tilara’s parent’s hope that that the surgery will allow their daughter to live a more pain-free life and maybe even increase her level of independent mobility.

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