DURING the month of October, Marian Gallagher pulled on the walking shoes and clocked up the miles to raise money and awareness for Breast Cancer Now.
Over four weeks, the Derrygonnelly native walked 100 miles for the charity and raised a staggering £2,870 in the process.
Marian, having witnessed at first hand the work that the Breast Cancer Now charity does for so many people, feels it is important that people do what they can to support organisations like this.
“I have been following Breast Cancer Now on social media since my big sister was first diagnosed with breast cancer just over three years ago. They organise lots of different fundraisers and I saw this challenge and thought ‘could I do this?’
“Unfortunately, my sister had been diagnosed with breast cancer for the second time at the start of August this year and I felt the need to do something to contribute to raising awareness of breast cancer. Also, to help with the research into diagnosing it quicker and hopefully finding treatments to stop it from returning a second time.
“With all this in mind, and October being Breast Cancer Awareness Month, I decided at the end of September that I would take on the challenge.
“I knew it wouldn’t be easy with two young children to get the time to get my miles done, but when my initial target of £150 was smashed in the first few hours of setting up the fundraiser, it gave me the determination and encouragement that I could do it.”
Aside from the delight at being able to raise some much-needed funds for the charity, Marian enjoyed the physical activity of getting out and walking in the rural Fermanagh countryside.
“Some days I would maybe only get two miles done, and other days I would get six or seven.
“Some days the weather was really for me and I would push myself harder to get as many miles as I could do done. Other days I got completely drenched and found it tough to keep going but I thought of all those, including my sister and my late auntie Margaret, who had endured so much pain with a cancer diagnosis. Getting wet was nothing in comparison.
“My little cousin and best friend, Martina kindly offered to do my last walk with me. I really wanted this to be a memorable one so I decided I would go to Rossnowlagh.
“It was a beautiful morning and we arrived just in time for a beautiful sunrise and pink sky. I then broke the news that we had seven and a half miles left to do to complete the 100.
“We smashed it with 7.8 and celebrated with a flask of tea and chocolate biccies back at the car!”
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