Caroline O'Dwyer

Run for Robert

Fundraising for Adfam National
raised of £1,000 target
by 55 supporters
Donations cannot currently be made to this page
Event: Great North Run 2021, on 12 September 2021
In memory of Robert O'Dwyer
Adfam National

Verified by JustGiving

RCN 1067428


Thanks for taking the time to visit my JustGiving page.

I lost my brother Robert, my childhood friend and confident,
to alcohol on the 30th August 2017. He lost his life and it changed mine and my
family’s life forever.

My brother Robert was the one I relied on as a child, he
encouraged me and I listened to his every word. He taught me to climb trees,
and when I couldn’t he said you can; he taught me to dive and when I said I
couldn’t, he said you can; he taught me to ride my bike with no hands and, yes,
when I said I couldn’t, he said you can. He was not without fault, like us all,
but my childhood memories of him are simply perfect.

I was the third of 3 children - 2 older brothers and born a
year after each other.  As we grew up,
despite being the youngest, I took on the role of looking after the 3 of us. At
times this wasn’t so welcome but we were close as children and the need to
protect my brothers has always stayed with me.

Robert had a kind nature about him, he was also mischievous
and a fearless daredevil who was fun to be around. His view of the world was
laid back, stress free and he didn’t take himself too seriously.  One of his favourite songs was Otis Redding’s
“Sittin’ on the dock of the bay” I hear that song now with mixed emotions.

Robert died at the end of the August bank holiday, it wasn’t
a pleasant death and just as we had been close as children, I held his hand and
told him how loved he was,  how he had
nothing to be afraid of as I watched him slip away and take his last breath.
The sadness enveloped me and I felt my strength drain from me. My role as a
sister had come to an end and I had failed my brother. I looked up and thought
who is holding my hand; I have never felt so alone in my entire life.

I had so many emotions, mainly disbelief, how did he become
an alcoholic? When did he become an alcoholic, why did he become an alcoholic?
We had the same parents, the same family values, the same childhood and we were
given the best start in life that our parents could manage.  We had a happy childhood and had many social
gatherings at home, drinking, dancing and singing. It was a happy place. How
then, as adults, could our relationship with alcohol differ so much?

I was angry, very angry. I bereted myself: Why didn’t I
realise? Why didn’t I fix him? Someone so precious to me had been taken away,
it was a waste of a life and I had done nothing to prevent it.  Of course I thought I was the only person
feeling this way. I understand I was and still am grieving, but the unanswered
questions, the shoulda, woulda, coulda , what ifs and if onlys  torment me. As a family we didn’t see the
signs, or if we did, we didn’t dare to talk about it. The stigma that surrounds
alcoholism remains and so the secrets and denial continue for many families.

I started running a few years ago, pretty amateurish but
it’s good for my health, mentally as much as physically.  I have challenged myself to take part in the
Great North Run and I want to finish in under 2 and a half hours. I don’t
normally run for charity but through this prestigious event I want to raise
money to help the families of addicts that are left behind with only their
precious memories of loved ones

I will be running for them and for my brother Robert and
when I say I can’t go on, he will say, yes you can.

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About the charity

Adfam National

Verified by JustGiving

RCN 1067428
Adfam is the only national charity tackling the effects of alcohol, drug use or gambling on family members and friends. Donations through this page will help fund Adfam@Home, our service providing tailored support sessions to adult family members via Zoom or telephone.

Donation summary

Total raised
+ £278.75 Gift Aid
Online donations
Offline donations

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