While many men of 68 might think a stroll to the pub would be too much exercise for one day Gleneely man, Denis Doherty sailed home on Friday last after having completed a marathon sponsored cycle from Mizen Head to Malin Head...in just five days.
Speaking to the Journal yesterday his daughter Rosaleen said: “He really is a remarkable man, and he’s an inspiration to us all. We are so proud of him.”
She laughingly added: “The two boys who were with him were feeling the effects just as much as he was - and they are a lot younger than him. The amazing thing is he says he could do it all again now!”
The ‘two boys’ Rosaleen is referring to is her husband, Shane, from Burnfoot, and her brother, Michael, from Bunagee, Culdaff, and they decided to support Denis in his marathon cycle in aid of Donegal Cancer Support Services.
Rosaleen explained the background: “Daddy is an amazing man who following an encounter with cancer himself a few years back had decided he is now fit enough to give somthing back as a tribute to what he believes was an outstanding service that he recieved during his treatment.
“His big objective was to raise the funds to help fund the bus service that brings cancer patients from Letterkenny General Hospital to both Dublin and Galway hospitals who are recieving treatment from Monday to Friday and who then return home to their families for the weekends.
“He considers this service to be vital both in terms of both the practicalities of accessible transport from Donegal but also the peer support gained through this service amongst cancer patients themselves, allowing a certain amount of comradship during what is essentially a very harrowing, exausting and isolating period of time in their lives”
With help from his daughter,Breda, who has also suffered from cancer in the past, Denis has been instrumental in the gaining of sponsorship to-date which has raised over €14,000 and both are very grateful for the support they have been shown in Donegal.
“Basically my father has put in the work to training over the past 12 months whilst Breda had been knocking on doors” said Rosaleen, adding:
“He also holds in high regard the support given to him throughout the trip by Michael and Shane who cycled with him and the help given by Breda and his brother Michael who provided their essential supports throughout the journey.”
Denis and the two lads arrived back safe and well in Malin Head on Friday afternoon at 5pm - where they were welcomed home and greeted by many supporters in a large gathering at Bambas Crown. A party then followed in Docs Bar where entertainment was provided by his granchildren all of who sang or played instruments to the delighted grangfather of 20.
“Daddy was totally overwelmed by the response he recieved by people all over the country on their venture and on his return home on Friday.
They have to-date raised over 14,000 and money is still coming in.”
Anyone still wishing to donate can do so by contacting Denis Doherty on 9367179 or donations can also be made online through paypal firstname.lastname@example.org.