Two Donegal cousins are stepping up for an impressive walking challenge this month in aid of the Donegal Hospice.

Emma Begley, aged 11, and Ollie Mc Laughlin, aged 4, are hitting the roads to walk 150KM this month to raise money in memory of their grandparents.

The cousins have lost three great/grandparents to cancer who all received amazing care from staff at Donegal Hospice. Their great grandmother Margaret Carlin passed away in the care of the hospice in 2016, while Emma’s grandad Willie Begley passed away in January this year after receiving home care from hospice nurses. Their great grandmother Kate (Ma) Mc Laughlin, who passed away in October 2012, was also cared for by hospice nurses at home.

Every day in May, Emma and Ollie are putting their little legs through the paces to generate extra support for the hospice through in memory of their much-loved relatives.

Emma came up with the bright idea at first, her mum Naomi tells Donegal Woman.

“My sister Sinead wanted to do some kind of fundraiser after she saw an article on Donegal Daily about the hospice. We were brainstorming on a call when Emma came out and said why don’t we do something for granda.

“Emma was extremely close to her granda Willie and the nurses were so good to her and explained everything to her. We always wanted to do something for them, and Emma is an extremely thoughtful 11-year-old. Willie was always out working on his farm and walking about checking his sheep… so Emma thought walking in their memory would be a nice way to raise money, which they all would have loved,” Naomi said.

Emma then asked her younger cousin Ollie to join her, and he happily obliged.

The pair are clocking up the kilometres separately in their home areas, while Emma has her home farm outside Milford to walk around and Ollie, walking with his mum, contributes to the total from Convoy.

Emma Begley, aged 11
Ollie Mc Laughlin, aged 4

“We are hoping, if the restrictions are lifted slightly, they can do their last kilometre to the Hospice,” Naomi said.

The cousins are already miles ahead of their first fundraising goals. They had originally set a €500 target, but they’ve already raised over €2,000 in just a few days. With over 27 more days of walking ahead, they are hoping to keep that pace up to support a vital local cause.

If you would like to support Emma and Ollie’s 150km challenge, please visit the GoFundMe page at:—emma–amp–ollie-s-challenge.html