A MACROOM woman is this year taking part in her ninth walk in aid of Breakthrough Cancer Research.
Agnes Linnane, (69) from Macroom in Cork, will once again take part in the Kerry Way Cancer Research walk on July 18th – a walk she started after losing the ‘love of her life’ – her husband Jim – to cancer.
‘I am an avid walker and have done the three days of the Kerry Way Cancer Research Walk for the past eight years. I first heard about the walk from a friend of my late husband,’ she recalled.
‘I had lost my husband to cancer and having experienced the progression of such an illness, I decided to take part in the walk,’ she said.
‘On the first day of the walk in 2007, I felt so alone and lonely and I suppose feeling sorry for myself, walking in the memory of the love of my life – Jim. I was not very fit but the walk leader was so kind and encouraged me along, I was feeling much better by the end of the three days.’
Agnes says the Kerry Way Cancer Research Walk ‘grows’ on you: ‘I keep going back because I get to meet up with old friends and make new ones each year, and of course I meet up with the wonderful leaders,’ she said.
‘I would encourage anyone considering doing the walk to sign up today, I would tell them to dress for the weather, use a stick, drink plenty of water and bring some glucose sweets. My favourite part of the three-day walk is seeing the Breakthrough Cancer Research arch at the finish line, the welcome we receive from Ann and all the volunteers. I find this part emotional but extremely fulfilling. I don’t think people are aware of all the great work being undertaken by the researchers in the Cancer Research Centre here in Cork, I am proud to raise vital funds for their work and I hope that my participation helps raise awareness and funds for new treatments for cancer.’
To mark its anniversary the walk has an added element of a nine-day team walk covering the 200km Kerry Way route along, with the usual three-day walk which covers over 70km of the Kerry Way.
These guided walks will combine impressive mountain views, dramatic peaks and glens, wild moorlands, wooded paths and lakes along the Kerry Way trails.
Challenging but fun, the great camaraderie on the route adds to the spectacular settings and ensures a truly memorable experience in the Kingdom.
‘Cancer affects so many people, through their own journey or through someone they know,’ says long time Kerry Way Walk supporter, adventurer Pat Falvey.
‘Taking on cancer is a daunting challenge which requires focus and determination, elements which are also needed for facing other challenges in life, such as climbing Mount Everest, or walking to the North or South Pole.’
This year alone over 36,000 people will be diagnosed with cancer in Ireland and despite significant increases in the numbers of people surviving cancer and treatment options available, 8,800 people will die because the treatments to save their lives have not yet been discovered.
To get involved visit http://www.kerrywaycancerwalk.ie/ email [email protected] call 1890 998 998 or the Kerry Way Facebook page.