Local Man Donal Completes 5 Peaks Challenge for Cancer!

On Saturday 3rd July, recently retired Donal Convery completed the massive challenge of climbing 5 mountain peaks in the Sperrins,all in one day in aid of Charis Cancer Care.

The 5 peaks included Slieve Gallion, An Carn, Eagles Rock, The Priest’s Chair and Benbradagh, totalling to a massive 6000ft – that’s 26 miles!

Donal had taking up walking since retiring and decided to set himself the enormous challenge of completing his 5 walks in one day to raise money for his chosen local charity. Donal said he chose to support Charis Cancer Care as they deliver a much-needed service for cancer patients and their families and having had a similar experience and he understands the need for this and was aware that due to the pandemic annual fundraisers were curtailed and wanted to help in any way he could.

On completing the challenge Donal said “I had amazing help and support from both my family and very good friends and ex colleagues from St Patrick’s College, Maghera. The highlight was seeing so many people coming along to join in on the walks. This support kept me going and I can honestly say I found the whole experience very humbling and rewarding. Three of my close friends Roger, Damien and Martin had to put up with me all day but I couldn’t have done it without them. We had some laughs along the way!”

Charis Cancer Care is a unique cancer care centre, providing a range of holistic and complementary therapies and counselling to individuals affected by cancer- at any stage of their journey in a home from home setting, with a dedicated professional and caring team. Charis cares for those with a cancer diagnosis, families and loved ones of those with a diagnosis and those bereaved by cancer.

It is the Charis vision that “nobody affected by cancer should ever feel alone. Everyone should have ease of access to support services, from complementary therapies to counselling and support groups, and that this should be provided with warmth, compassion and understanding.”

Imelda McGucken MBE, Centre Director at Charis Cancer Care said “Donal is an inspiration to us all here at Charis Cancer Care, he took on this enormous challenge and took it in his stride. We are forever grateful for all his support; it means the absolute world to us. Without our amazing supporters like Donal, we simply couldn’t continue to offer the support we do, thank you so much!”

When asked what advice he would give anyone considering taking on a challenge like this, Donal said “My advice would be don’t be afraid to set yourself a challenge, plan it through, involve your friends and family and enjoy it. There are many families whose lives are touched by Cancer and organisations such as Charis are essential to the community.”

Donal completed his challenge on Saturday 3rd July, along with a team of supporters and fellow hikers, raising and outstanding £11,075.00. On completing the challenge Donal said “I am overwhelmed by the generosity I have received, and I will definitely sleep well tonight”

Congratulations Donal, a staggering achievement, well done!

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