A Corofin native is among 30 friends and work colleagues of a County Donegal man, who is currently battling cancer, who will this week embark on a 350km charity cycle along Ireland’s western seaboard. They are on a mission to raise funds for Friend’s of St Luke’s and Bone Marrow for Leukaemia Trust.
Tour for Shaun 2014 is inspired by 26-year-old Shaun Doherty, who was diagnosed with Stage 3 Hodgkin’s Lymphoma in 2011.
The charity cycle will see the group, which includes Declan Keane from Corofin, travel through counties Galway, Mayo, Sligo, Leitrim and Donegal, during the June Bank Holiday Weekend.
Many of the cyclists participating in the fundraiser are based in London, where civil engineer, Shaun relocated to from his home village of Clonmany five years ago, having graduated with a BSc Hons in Construction Management from Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology.
During a trip home to Donegal in August 2011, Shaun was diagnosed with Stage 3 Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, at the age of 24. He has been battling his way back to full health ever since.
Speaking ahead of the charity cycle, Shaun said, “What the guys have achieved here is simply remarkable. They have humbled me, from the first day of my diagnosis, with offers of help from London and opened my eyes to just how important good friends are. It has been amazing following the progress and ever-building momentum of Tour for Shaun from Donegal, and indeed from St James’ Hospital, over the last six months. All that is left now is to get everyone safe to Donegal and in one piece – and for me, personally, to aim for the next charity cycle and show these lads and ladies how it should be done.”
The aim of the trip is to raise funds for two Irish charities and “to increase general health awareness amongst young adults who often have a false sense of invincibility”.
The Tour for Shaun group will set off from Moycullen on Friday morning, before finishing later that day in Swinford, County Mayo. On Saturday, the cyclists will travel from Swinford to Donegal town, while they will complete the final leg of the cycle on Sunday, by cycling to Shaun’s home village of Clonmany, located on the northern tip of the Inishowen Peninsula.
A number of fundraising events have taken place in Donegal and in London ahead of the cycle, including a 5km fun run in London and in Buncrana; a fundraising auction in Clapham, where Shaun lived when he worked in London; a coffee morning held in O’Flahertys of Buncrana; and a table quiz in the Strand Hotel in Ballyliffin.
All proceeds from the charity fundraisers are going towards Friends of St Luke’s and Bone Marrow for Leukaemia Trust.
To follow Declan’s progress or make a donation, visit www.mycharity.ie/charity/tourforshaun2014.