John Fitzpatrick, a vet from outside Omagh, Co. Tyrone, is using his time off this summer to raise vital funds for charity.
The joint-owner of Fairgreen Veterinary Centre is cycling 300kms in fourteen days in aid of Cancer Fund for Children.
The charity is encouraging members of the public to “get on your bike this July and help ensure no child has to face cancer alone”.
Participants can opt to undertake a 300km cycle over the course of 14 days or a 5km cycle for 5 days between Monday, July 6th and Sunday, July 19th.
The charity explained that 90% of its income comes from the fundraising of local businesses, clubs, schools and individuals.
“It’s [300kms] the approximate distance it would take to travel from our therapeutic short break centre Daisy Lodge in Newcastle, Co. Down, to the site where we will build our new Daisy Lodge in Cong, Co. Mayo,” the charity explained on its website.
‘Something worthwhile and challenging’
Speaking to That’s Farming, Fitzpatrick said: “With a wee one-year-old man myself, I wanted to do something for children and that is why I am taking on the #daisycyclechallenge.”
“I wanted to just do something worthwhile and challenging while I was off for a few weeks.”
“It’s turned out to be much harder than I originally thought it would be. I was supposed to do a cancer walk but that was cancelled due to Covid-19, so this is my first charity sporting activity.”
The father-of-one has set a target to raise £1,200 with donations accepted through his JustGiving page.
“It’s surpassed what I expected already but would love to get as much as I could for the children.”
“I can only imagine what it would be like to have a small child with cancer,” John concluded.
Every week in Northern Ireland, another three children and young people aged 0-24-years-old are diagnosed with cancer.
“From the point of diagnosis our team of cancer support specialists is here to help, guide and support families at home, in their community, and at our therapeutic short break and residential centre in Newcastle, Co. Down.” Cancer Fund for Children explained on its website.
“Our support is focused not just on the young person, but on the whole family. Our aim is to empower, connect and strengthen them, so they feel equipped to deal with whatever the future may hold.”
Cancer Fund for Children helps bereaved families cope with the emotional pain of losing a child to cancer.
They also support children and young people whose parent has been diagnosed with cancer through its Young Shoulders Programme.