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Fundraiser will see JJ walk 35km on his 35th birthday

February 21st, 2022 11:45 AM

By Martin Walsh

Kilnamartyra’s JJ Cremin (right) will walk 35 kilometres from Ballyvourney to Kenmare on his 35th birthday to raise funds for Cancer Connect and Blood Bike South. Also included are (from left): Helen O’Driscoll, Cancer Connect, Ann Cronin, fundraising officer Blood Bike South and Kevin O’Connor, vice chairperson Blood Bike South. (Photo: Martin Walsh)

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KILNAMARTYRA’S JJ Cremin can talk the talk about two well-known charity organisations he’s involved with - Cancer Connect and Blood Bike South and on Saturday week next, he will literally walk the walk for both as he celebrates his 35th birthday by walking the 35 kilometres to raise much needed funds for both organisations.

At the beginning of the Covid pandemic, JJ hit on the idea of the fundraising walk, ironically, whilst out walking. As a rally co-driver with the likes of Ballylickey’s Daniel Cronin and Ballyvourney’s Gerard Lucey, he found that with rallies being postponed, he had time on his hands.

‘As I was out walking, I was thinking how could I put that new found free time to meaningful use in the community. My friend and fellow rally co-driver Ella Ryan from Bandon suggested I volunteer as a driver for Cancer Connect. As a volunteer herself, she fundraised for the charity through music gigs on social media during the lockdown.’

He added, ‘Transporting cancer patients from their homes to Cork hospitals for treatment was an inspiration. I saw first-hand how grateful my passengers were of the service and the time I offered up.’

But that’s only half the story. JJ’s love of rallying also extends to motorcycles, he explained, ‘That led me to get involved with Blood Bike South that’s run by motorcycle enthusiasts, who provide out of hours transportation of blood samples, breast milk and vital medicine between Cork hospitals and beyond.’

Accompanied by friends, JJ will commence his walk from the Mills Inn, Ballyvourney at 9am on Saturday February 26th and the route will take them to the Top of Coom, home of Ireland’s highest pub, before their descent carries them to Kilgarvan before crossing Kenmare Bridge and on to the finish in Henry Street, Kenmare.

JJ has two wishes for his birthday. ‘As well as raising much needed funds, I am also hoping that the walk will raise awareness that will lead others like myself to volunteer for these invaluable organisations.’

Donations can be made through gofundme.com/35kmWalk.

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