They are, undoubtedly, the bravest bunch of people you’ll meet. After all, what person in their right mind would tackle an 80km cycle around Leitrim’s backroads for charity? What’s more, they’ll do so willingly and generally (except for the last 10 kilometres) with a smile on their face.
This Saturday, August 4 will see yet another group of cyclists take part in the annual South Leitrim 80km cycle in aid of the Northwest Hospice. The cycle will depart from St Patrick’s Church, Mohill, heading for Ballinamore before continuing on into Drumshanbo for lunch before resuming the cycle towards Carrick, Dromod and back to Mohill. People of all ages, all abilities and all types of bicycles will pedal for hours with one sole thought in mind, giving something back to the North West Hospice.
The Hospice are the unsung heroes of our health system. This phenomenal service provides support to families at their time of greatest need and they do so largely through the donations and fundraising of the local community.
Anyone who has seen a loved one struggle with a terminal illness will know the feeling of helplessness that the family often experience. There is little we can do but watch and sit and pray while we wait for the inevitable and heartbreaking conclusion.
But this weekend we can all make a difference. We can give to the North West Hospice and make sure that this incredible service continues well into the future.
The staff at the North West Hospice provide the care, consideration and support that families and patients need at a very difficult time. They are there, full of reassurance, providing a port of calm and information, of strength and understanding in an otherwise horrific situation.
I know, my family sat in the very same seats that probably hundreds of other shell-shocked families have sat, just a few short weeks ago. Waiting, hoping for a different outcome, but knowing that time was our enemy.
The staff of the Northwest Hospice are quite simply, wonderful. From the nurses to the doctors, from the receptionists to the admin staff, everything they do, every family they come to know by individual name, is astounded by the level of care and compassion the Hospice provide. These staff do so day in and day out. They do so when cutbacks leave them fighting to maintain services and to improve facilities.
Every single one of us knows someone who has been touched by the wonderful service that is the Northwest Hospice. So this weekend, if you know someone brave enough to take up the challenge of cycling 80km please dig deep and sponsor them. If you are approached by one of the dedicated bucket collectors accompanying the cyclists through South Leitrim this Sunday, please, for the love of God, dig deep and support them.
Words cannot express how important the work of the Northwest Hospice is. How much this work needs to continue. They cannot do this without your support and speaking from the point of view of someone who has recently seen the care they have provided a family member at their darkest hour - this is one charity that is definitely worth helping.
A big thank you from the organisers
The organisers of the 80km Charity Cycle would also to give a big thank you to everyone who will be helping with this weekend’s event. Thanks especially to the cyclists who are taking part, to the many collectors and members of the support team who have volunteered their time again this year to provide much needed back up. Thank you to all the sponsors and businesses who have assisted in the planning through donations to helping with provisions of food and bottled water during and after the cycle.
Thank you also to the road crews who will be providing music and mechanical support for those cyclists whose transport decides not to co-operate on the day.
A peremptory thank you also goes out to the gardai who will be assisting on the day and to the wonderful people who will be organising the big BBQ on the successful completion of the cycle at J’s Hotel, Mohill on Saturday afternoon.
This day would not be possible, of course, without the generosity of those individuals who have sponsored and (hopefully) will also sponsor our cyclists this Saturday, so a big thank you to you all too!
Remember, no donation is too small so please come out on Saturday and show your support for the Northwest Hospice.