West Kerry-based, James O’Connor shorn 833 sheep in 24 hours as part of a fundraising event for his sister’s cancer treatment, which has to date, received over €93,000 in donations through a GoFundMe page.
His 24-hour shearathon ran from 6 pm on Friday, July 7th, 2023 and drew to a close at 6 pm on Saturday, July 8th, 2023, at O’Connor’s Guest House in Cloghane.
In 2022, Mary Lynch (43), a married mother of two young children, Pádraig (7) and Éadaoin (3), was diagnosed with the most aggressive form of breast cancer – Invasive Ductal Carcinoma (IDC) – triple-negative breast cancer.
Her battle to date has included 20 weeks of chemo, followed by a mastectomy and lymph node axillary clearance.
Mary then continued her treatment with radiotherapy for three weeks, but unfortunately, despite all this and following a scan, she was told that the cancer had metastasised to her lung.
She was given a life expectancy of two years, with the only treatment option offered being to try to contain the cancer for as long as possible.
She has travelled from her home soil in Ireland to the Royal Marsden in London and has had a “positive” meeting with its team of medics.
Mary has travelled from her home soil in Ireland to the Royal Marsden in London and has had a “positive” meeting with its team of medics.
They are now looking into different treatment options, but this will come with notable costs, from the treatment itself, tests, and all other associated costs with travelling overseas.
Mary has undergone dendritic cell therapy in Germany and is currently undergoing further treatment in Ireland of Pembro (immuno-therapy) and Chemotherapy.
24-Hour Shear 4 Mary
James underwent this personal challenge to raise money for his sister and to show his and the family’s appreciation for everyone who has donated through Go FundMe.
James explained: “We are just trying to extend her life as much as we can and give her as much time as possible to enjoy her beautiful life with her adored children, Pádraig and Éadaoin, and her husband and best friend, Donal.”
Ahead of the event, he told www.thatsfarming.com: “I am going to do two hours shearing and take a half-an-hour break, so that is the way it will run consistently for 24 hours.”
“Furthermore, I would be hoping to shear somewhere in the region of 700+, but it is difficult to know what sort of numbers you are going to do until you get going on the day,” he added.
In a statement on Sunday, July 9th, 2023, a spokesperson for the Irish Sheep Shearers Association said:
“On behalf of the ISSA, a huge congratulations to James O’Connor for shearing 833 sheep in 24 hours.”
“James undertook this 24-hour challenge to raise money for his sister Mary who was recently diagnosed with cancer. Well done, James,” the spokesperson concluded.
To support Mary’s Cancer Treatment Fund, click this link.