The Childhood Cancer Foundation will be benefiting from this great group cycle challenge.

A Nottingham man whose wife sadly passed away from cancer in 2016, is planning a fantastic tribute in her memory this September when he undertakes the 500-mile cycle between Donegal’s Malin Head and Mizen Head to raise funds for the Childhood Cancer Foundation.

John Walsh and ten of his close friends arrived in Donegal this week to honour John’s wife, who, he says, had dedicated her life to working with children.

Family photo

“Margaret was born in Nottingham but her mother Anne was from Galway and her father Martin was from Mayo and she spent many happy summers in Ireland as a child visiting her uncle’s farm in Galway,” John said.

He added: “My wife had dedicated her life to helping children, she was a trained nursery nurse and special needs teacher, who worked all over the world. Margaret held charities like Childhood Cancer Foundation, close to her heart and having lost her battle with bowel cancer in March 2016, we could not think of a better way to honour her memory.”

John Walsh and his team

John, who travelled to Ireland with his son Jack and a team of friends, says are ‘relatively new to cycling’ says he expects some challenges along the way.

Thursday, 31st August, was day one, and they have 700km to tackle over seven days.

Their route involves them travelling through Donegal, Sligo, Mayo, Galway, Limerick, Clare, Kerry to Cork.

“We have 7 days to complete the trip so we have been training for months. We know there will be a few challenges along the way and hoping the weather will be on our side!”

So far, the cycling team has raised over €7,000 for the charity and anyone who would like to donate can do so online at

Maura Toner of Childhood Cancer Foundation (CCF) says that the charity is very thankful to John for choosing to dedicate this incredible cycle to raising awareness of childhood cancer which starts on the 1st of September, childhood cancer awareness month.

“Childhood Cancer Foundation has been working hard over the last 4-5 years to help to improve the supports and services for children and their families who are living with cancer in Ireland.  Thanks to the generous support of people like John, we are funding three projects on St John’s Paediatric Cancer Ward in Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital, Crumlin.

These include, Play Services on St John’s paediatric cancer day unit, a medical research project in conjunction with UCD School of Nursing which investigates the benefits of complementary therapies for children in active treatment for cancer and  Beads of Courage, an internationally recognised, innovative arts in medicine supportive care programme in use in over 240 paediatric cancer hospitals in the US, the UK, Australia, New Zealand, Canada and other countries, designed to help children understand and cope with their cancer diagnosis. “

Maura explained that in January of this year Childhood Cancer Foundation started working on a Shared Care Hospital Project which aims to improve facilities and supports for children with cancer while hospitalised in isolation rooms in the country’s 16 shared care hospitals.

She added: “Our primary goal is to raise awareness of childhood cancer. Increased awareness will result in more funding to improve services for all children with cancer, their families and caregivers. We run the Light It Up Gold Campaign each September which sees important buildings and landmarks around Ireland light up gold as part of an international awareness campaign. We also advocated for children in the National Cancer Strategy 2017-2026 published in July.”

So far, the cycling team has raised over €7,000 for the charity and anyone who would like to donate can do so online at