Belfast man takes on epic fitness challenge in memory of late wife
A BELFAST man and his family have taken on an epic fitness challenge by walking, running and cycling 800 miles in memory of his late wife.
Stephen McGeown lost his wife Aileen just before Christmas last year following her brave battle with pancreatic cancer. She was just 46.
In a bid to honour her and to thank the Northern Ireland Hospice for the palliative care she received during her illness, Mr McGeown decided to embark on a fitness challenge in her memory.
Together with his son Conal and family and friends, who were dubbed 'Team Aileen', they embarked on a personal fitness challenge during the recent pandemic lockdown.
They walked, cycled and ran the equivalent distance between Malin Head to Mizen Head and back, whilst raising vital funds for Northern Ireland Hospice.
Mr McGeown had initially hoped to raise £2,000, but thanks to the generosity of friends, family and colleagues, he has now raised over £25,000 for Northern Ireland Hospice.
"I was very pleased with the positive response we received, and the amazing amount of money raised in Aileen’s memory, which will help the NI Hospice continue their invaluable work," he said.
"Aileen was a wonderful mum, wife and friend who is sorely missed.
"She was a truly inspirational woman who has given us the strength and courage to remain strong now and into the future."
Mary McCall from the Northern Ireland Hospice added: "We are truly humbled and grateful to have received this incredible donation from the McGeown family and friends.
"The coronavirus pandemic has had a devastating impact on our income, and we are reliant on support and donations from our local community, now more than ever.
"The Northern Ireland Hospice currently cares for over 4,000 patients and families each year and we are thankful that Stephen and his family were able to benefit from our service and that their experience motivated them to ensure that the same care and compassion can be offered to others in the community."