Leitrim man Des is going the extra mile for Irish Guide Dogs

Des Keaney may be losing his sight but he is still stepping it out for a wonderful cause

Leitrim man Des is going the extra mile for  Irish Guide Dogs

Des and his guide dog Paige walking at Tullan Strand

Des Keaney is gradually losing his sight.
He was born and raised in Manorhamilton, but spent his working life in and around Dublin. He returned to live on the Barr Road in Rossinver and it was around his time he noted worrying changes in his eye sight.
The Leitrim Observer recently featured his story on how this has affected him and how he is coping with such a traumatic experience (see https://www.leitrimobserver.ie/news/manorhamilton/628005/a-leitrim-s-man-journey-into-dusk.html).
As part of his story he stated “In aid of the wonderful Irish Guide Dogs, I’ll be walking 100km in May alongside Sonja and Paige (his guide dog). Our local walk, while only being about 3km, does have a hill of 80m. That’s about 2500m over the month which should shift some of the lockdown weight!

“If you’d like to make a donation, no matter how small, please see our fundraising page at https://guide-dog-day-2021. raisely.com/sonja-keaney
“I hope this gives you a better understanding of sight loss.”
And Des has certainly been stepping it out in recent weeks.
In an update Sonja Keaney outlined that he is now going to walk further than intended.
She told the paper, “We completed the 100km a few days ago, so Des thought he'd change the goal posts and set us on a target for 100 miles, which is approximately 160 kilometres.
“We've got ourselves into quite a rhythm mostly heading out in the evenings. Our Tabby cat Buster trails along the road after us and several times has walked the full 6km with us!
“We've had a taste of all weathers, but we've also been treated to some amazing sunsets over Lough Melvin. How lucky we are to have such a wonderful walk right on our doorstep.

“We got some lovely comments on our fundraising page from people who read Des's article in the Leitrim Observer (Sonja and Des Keaney • 100km for GDD in May (raisely.com). The response has been overwhelming.
“It has also been great when people have approached Des when they recognise him with Paige, and they say hello Des and then they tell him their name.
“The article has helped people understand how to approach someone with vision loss. We are so very grateful that you helped in spreading the word.”

You can read more about Des' story and how he is coping with losing his sight HERE

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