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Rory Best to walk 180 miles across Ireland to raise funds for therapeutic facility for children battling cancer

Former Ulster, Ireland, British & Irish Lions Captain, Rory Best is calling for people to help him in his challenge to support Cancer Fund for Children

FORMER Ulster and Ireland rugby captain Rory Best is to walk 180 miles across Ireland to help raise funds for a new therapeutic facility for children battling cancer.

Rory Best’s 'Miles to Mayo' will see the ex-rugby star start his challenge at Daisy Lodge, the Cancer Fund for Children's therapeutic centre in Newcastle, and walk to the site of the proposed new facility in Co Mayo.

Best hopes his 10-day challenge will help raise £500,000 towards the centre. He said he was taking part to "shine a light on the impact a cancer diagnosis has on children, young people and their families".

The challenge takes place from September 8 to 17 during Childhood Cancer Awareness month.

Starting at Newcastle, he will pass through the provinces of Ulster, Leinster, and Connaught, taking in counties Down, Armagh, Fermanagh, Leitrim, Sligo and Mayo with his epic journey taking in over 30 towns and villages.

Daisy Lodge, Mayo is due to be built on the shores of Lough Corrib, near the village of Cong as a much-needed second therapeutic facility providing restorative short breaks for children with cancer and their families.

"Cancer Fund for Children is an amazing charity, and this is just my small contribution of time and effort to go towards the incredible support they provide on the ground and through their Daisy Lodge therapeutic centre," the former Lions captain said.

"Families need vital support and respite from hospital visits and the worry and stress of the situation they face every day.

"Cancer Fund for Children brings light in a very dark place for these families and at Daisy Lodge they provide time for them to breathe again and to reconnect, knowing that they are in a safe and supportive environment."

Phil Alexander from Cancer Fund for Children added: "We have been offering families from across Ireland emotional support in Daisy Lodge for six years but for every family we currently help there are another six we cannot.

"The capacity in Daisy Lodge in Newcastle is not sufficient to meet the demand for our support and that’s why we desperately need a second short break centre in Co. Mayo.

"Behind every childhood cancer diagnosis there is a whole family affected, and beyond the essential medical care, there is a family life that needs to be rebuilt.

"A new therapeutic centre will help ensure that no child faces cancer alone and we are looking forward to working with Rory and our key sponsors Kingsbridge Private Hospitals and Ardonagh Insurance Group to make this happen."

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