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Tuesday 19 November 2019

'I can already taste the Atlantic', says David after 100km

David O’Reilly began his 200km walk with a dip. Picture: Gerry Mooney
David O’Reilly began his 200km walk with a dip. Picture: Gerry Mooney

A man who is walking from Dublin to Galway to raise funds for Crumlin Children's Hospital has reached the halfway mark - and says he can almost taste the Atlantic.

David O'Reilly (44) threw himself into the freezing Forty Foot in Dun Laoghaire on Monday for a quick dip before setting off west on his herculean fundraising effort.

He has now made it as far as Athlone, Co Westmeath, and already raised nearly €3,000 of his €5,000 target.

"I'm having unbelievable craic and we are meeting great people on the way," David told the Herald.

"I'm a bit knackered now, but that comes and goes.

"The feet are blistered, but the knees, muscles, bones and ligaments are all grand. It's all going very well."

"I really am experiencing four seasons in one day.

"When the sun is out it's warm, but at this stage I can almost sense and taste the Atlantic as I get closer to it.

"There's also been a bit of adventure along the way, like fighting off the odd dog.

"I feel a bit like Cu Chulainn at times," he laughed.

"Sometimes, I arrive into a town and the locals have heard I'm on the way and have soup and all made for me."

Research

When David learned that the cancer unit in Crumlin received no public funding for research and new equipment in a children's ward, he decided he would do his bit to help.

"I was in Crumlin Children's Hospital on Sunday night, and the mind just boggles why there is no public funding for these things. Everything is privately funded.

"It's the same with the parents' accommodation.

"I was privileged to get a tour of the place from one patient's parents.

"It's really clean and quiet and well run by the staff, but it's all funded by businesses, individuals and families.

As for the monster 200km walk, David said he takes each day as it comes.

"I've little planned in terms of accommodation, or where I'm stopping," he said.

"I suppose if you were diagnosed with cancer as a child, it would be a serious journey into the unknown and a day- by-day event for yourself and your family.

"Comparatively speaking, I'm going for a healthy walk in the park. I've seen people facing real challenges and they need our support."

If you want to support David's charitable trek, you can donate at cmrf.org/user/david-10

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