in Antarctica

November 2008 - January 2009



Registered Charity
No 1003825 (England & Wales)
SCO39482 (Scotland)

Our son Conor had no small part to play in the inspiration for Daragh’s adventure to Antarctica, and also in our choice to support the children’s medical charity SPARKS When our baby arrived safe and healthy in December 2007, we both felt very blessed to have such a lovely little boy. We know just how lucky we are and wanted to mark this by helping a children’s charity in some way. We also wanted to support specific projects and for these projects to have a universal application, especially since we believed a proportion of our fundraising could take place outside the UK.

A close friend introduced us to SPARKS and we were impressed by the way in which the charity ultimately helps all children by supporting research across the whole spectrum of paediatric medicine. Its goal is "for all babies to be born healthy and stay healthy", and raising money ensures that more children are afforded the opportunity to lead healthier and better lives.

The charity awards funds to research projects that are likely to have a clear clinical application in the near future, with applications decided by independent external referees and then by SPARKS medical advisory committee. We therefore know that money will be channelled to where it is most likely to make a difference, including increasing the life expectancy of newborns, reducing the health risks for babies born prematurely, and combating common and rare conditions such as spina bifida, cerebral palsy and neuroblastoma cancer. Lots of information about the charity, its past and current projects is on its website at

In addition to the personal challenge, supporting SPARKS is certain to be a big inspiration on the long days in Antarctica and a responsibility to deliver that will grow as we raise more money. To donate to SPARKS please go to Daragh’s donations page at, or follow our ‘Donations’ link. All donations and support are very much appreciated and will make a difference, so thank you so much!

"No person who has not spent a period of his life in those 'stark and sullen solitudes that sentinel the Pole' will understand fully what trees and flowers, sun-flecked turf and running streams mean to the soul of a man."
Ernest Shackleton