Louise James and Davitt Walsh raised funds for Muscular Dystrophy UK in memory of Louise's son Evan (8), who died in the tragic accident and who suffered from Duchenne muscular dystrophy. The brave mother paid tribute to the 100 runners who joined in the race. James was among a team who ran the race in relay.
In March James lost five members of her family when the family SUV sank after sliding off the slipway at Buncrana, County Donegal. James’ partner Sean McGrotty (46) died alongside Evan, her other son Mark (12), her mother Ruth Daniels (57), and her sister Jodie Lee Daniels (14).
Walsh (28) was on the scene and dived into the water in time to save the four-month-old daughter, Rioghnach-Ann.
He admitted that he’s still learning to deal with the tragedy but hopes that he has found a lifelong friendship in James and her daughter.
Just six weeks after the tragedy James was greeted with hugs and cheers as she crossed the finish line. She told the crowds that her son, Evan, would have been “proud” of all the participants who ran in his honor.
"I want to thank every single person who took part to remember Evan, whether you ran the race or have put your hand in your pocket to donate," she said.
Buncrana mother Louise James runs Belfast marathon to raise money for charityhttps://t.co/MoAQ7X8ja1— RTÉ News (@rtenews) May 2, 2016
"You did something remarkable in his name and to celebrate his life. I know he would be proud."
She continued, "Duchenne muscular dystrophy is a heart-breaking condition. There are hundreds of young people who live with it today. We need to help make sure that children and their families in the future don't face the same fears and challenges that we did.
"It means so much that people who knew Evan and my family, and many who didn't, have come together like this."
"It's impossible to comprehend what Louise, her family and friends must be going through," he said.
"We are in awe of the strength of character they display in resolving to do something so tremendous to celebrate the lives of those lost."