Lorraine McCormack is clocking up the miles for a charity challenge this year in loving memory of her mother Maureen, who was a popular resident of Donegal Town.

Travelling from London to Donegal is easy with planes and buses, but cycling is a whole other challenge.

UK teacher Lorraine McCormack plans to do just that. Next summer she and two friends will cycle from Kent to Donegal Town on a unique journey in memory of her mother. In the meantime, they are clocking up an incredible 10,000KM to raise funds for Solace Donegal.

Maureen McCormack passed away in 2017 after a brave three year battle with cancer. She was originally from England, and married an Irishman, Gerard They emigrated to Ireland when they retired and found a second home in Donegal.

Lorraine tells Donegal Daily: “Everyone in Donegal Town knew mum and said hello to her. She really embraced the Donegal life. She was a member of the golf club, she helped at the Bingo Hall, she was incredible.”

Lorraine and her late mum Maureen

Maureen was diagnosed with ovarian cancer four years ago and received tremendous support from Solace Donegal Cancer Support Centre. Now, Lorraine has taken on a charity challenge to return the kindness the voluntary team showed her mother, her father and herself.

Lorraine said, “My mother took great comfort with the help and support given to her by Solace. She did classes like knitting at the centre to ‘feel normal again’, she joined coffee mornings, and she went there just to chat to people.

“Not only that, but after mum passed away we all got support from Solace. They even went round to dad’s house to make sure he was okay.”

Solace also offers drop-in sessions, exercise and relaxation classes, financial support for people undergoing cancer treatment, as well as hosting guest speakers and social outings.

Lorraine decided to buy a bike while her mum was ill and cycled the Women V Cancer Ride the Night 100 km race in London. She kept going the following years after her mum died, raising money for Solace and three UK Cancer Charities, but this time she is stepping it up several notches.

Lorraine will cycle 5,000km in the next year. Her friends Sarah Steadman and Nicola Hazley will both cycle 2,500km to make up the 10,000km goal. Then they will set their sights on reaching Donegal within two weeks in August 2019.

“I haven’t driven my car in two months! At the moment I’m getting up to 100km in per week. I’m making up the miles in the summer when the weather is good. I have a spin bike for the winter months, but that won’t be as fun,” Lorraine said.

“Solace is an incredible organisation so I just want to do as much as I can for them. They help with the burden, purely through donations, which is why I want to help them so much.”

Lorraine’s dad Gerard has been cheering her on from the moment the challenge began. He keeps in contact with Solace regularly when he calls in to present Lorraine’s fundraising donations.

Lorraine is hoping to gather £5,000 to support Solace with this latest challenge.

“I’ve worked with a lot of charities before, but Solace has totally got my heart,” she said.

If you wish to support Lorraine, visit www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/cycling-for-solace

Follow the journey on Facebook here: https://www.facebook.com/Cycling-for-Solace-608832016137135/