Gerry saddles up for a great cause very close to his he

Gerry Lilley

WHEN Lorraine Lilley was diagnosed with cancer it turned the Lilley household ‘upside down’.

So much so that husband Gerry decided he do something positive to help Marie Curie.

Next week, well-known local businessman Gerry and a few of his mates take on the Malin Head to Mizen Head cycle in aid of the charity

Gerry explained that some time ago his cousin Damian Nolan had been chatting to him about doing the Marie Curie Cycle.

“My wife Lorraine was diagnosed last June and went through treatment before getting the all clear in February this year. So it was a rough ride and probably turned the house upside down. That’s what finally pushed me into saying, right, I’ll have a go at this,” explained Gerry.

“Now three of us, Damian Nolan and Fred Cleary, along with two other friends, have decided to do the cycle to raise money for Marie Curie. That’s where it has snowballed from,” he explained.

Gerry went on, “Lorraine being diagnosed was a real shock and has had a tremendous affect on the whole family. But the support I have received from my own staff at Fuels and Lubricants has been brilliant. It has enabled me to take time to do what I’m doing.

“They have been a tremendous support to me while Lorraine was ill. The diagnosis really turned the house upside down. It was an experience for the children and everything that went with that. I suppose they gave me the strength and inspired me on to taking on the cycle because watching how they were strong, I honestly thought they would have crumbled, but their reaction gave me great strength,” said Gerry.

“We’re doing a 70 mile and maybe two 40-50 milers per week. We’re getting three or four good cycles in every week. So far this week I’ve done three 50 mile cycles. You just have to take it as it comes and there is no better place to get you in shape than the hills around Fermanagh. At least you don’t have to go too far!

The cycle which begins on Saturday and Gerry says, “We’re organising a night in Pat’s Bar to have a music night for the cyclists coming through and those who want to support. We want anyone to come along on the 11th June and support us.”