Rory Best's Miles to Mayo Challenges raises €810,000
Rory Best recently completed his epic 290km walk from Co. Down to Co. Mayo in aid of Cancer Fund for Children, raising an incredible €810,000 for the charity.
The people of Mayo were out in full force to support Rory on his way, and the fantastic total raised would not have been possible without the encouragement and generosity of the people in the towns and villages in the county.
The former Ulster, Ireland, and British & Irish Lions captain set himself the challenge of walking from Cancer Fund for Children’s therapeutic short break centre Daisy Lodge in Newcastle, Co. Down, to the site of the charity’s second Daisy Lodge in Cong Co. Mayo, in just nine days.
On his journey, Rory passed through 72 towns and villages in six counties, and was joined for short periods by families affected by cancer as well as some notable names from sport and entertainment, including Tadhg Furlong, Rob Kearney, Robert Balacoune, Bundee Aki, Conor Murray, Conor McManus and well-known TV chef and personality Neven Maguire.
The money Rory’s challenge has raised will help Cancer Fund for Children build a much-needed second Daisy Lodge therapeutic centre in Co. Mayo for children with a cancer diagnosis and their families.
Cancer Fund for Children’s services include restorative breaks at Daisy Lodge, which is set at the foot of the Mourne Mountains. Short breaks allow families to spend quality time together in a safe and nurturing environment, far removed from hospital wards and treatment regimes. However, for every family the charity can support across Ireland there are another six they cannot, which is why they urgently need to build a second facility in Co. Mayo.
Speaking about his incredible achievement, Rory commented: “In terms of endurance, walking over 32 kilometres a day for nine days was tough – but it is nowhere near as tough as the challenges families living with childhood cancer face.
“Along my journey I heard some heart-breaking and inspiring stories from children, parents and health professionals. Whilst the care children diagnosed with cancer receive in hospital is excellent, it is clear that they really benefit from the emotional and therapeutic support provided by Cancer Fund for Children.”
He added: “When I arrived in Cong, I said that children with cancer need to get the best support once they leave hospital and that when they need respite breaks, they get to come to place like Daisy Lodge in Newcastle and Mayo, where they get to be treated like the stars they are.
“This is only the beginning. The walk to Cong may be over but the journey to a Daisy Lodge in Co. Mayo has just begun. Please continue to support Cancer Fund for Children so they can ensure that no child has to face cancer alone.”
Cancer Fund for Children’s CEO, Phil Alexander, said: “There are so many people that we wish to express our sincere thanks to, from the people that walked alongside Rory to those who provided hospitality along the way, including lunches and hotel rooms. We would like to thank the guards who helped Rory get to the finish line safely, the communities that stood and cheered, the volunteers and Mayo fundraising committee who helped make this event possible, and Martin, Rory’s physio, for his time and skills. Finally, a massive thank you to everyone also who donated so generously to our cause to help build Daisy Lodge Mayo.”
For more information about Cancer Fund for Children and the charity’s plans to build a therapeutic centre for families impacted by childhood cancer go to www.cancerfundforchildren.ie.