Tim and Ross take on marathon cycle/hike challenge for Gavin Flynn Foundation

Ross Foley, Caroline Cusack, Ellie Cusack and Tim O’Driscoll pictured before this weekend’s Pedal to the Peaks.

To climb the four of the highest peaks in Ireland would be a challenge at the best of times, but when you cycle from one peak to the next before climbing, the task seems almost unachievable, but that is exactly what two local men will be attempting over the next week, starting this Saturday.
Pedal to the Peaks (P2P), a fundraiser for the Gavin Glynn Foundation, will see Tim O’Driscoll from Effin and Ross Foley from Ballyhea climb an estimated 4,155 metres in total, with over 1100km of cycling in between. Tim Mullen will follow the cyclists in a support vehicle and will then join them in the mountain hikes. Starting at the base of Seefin, in the Ballyhoura mountain range, this Saturday morning, the intrepid duo will tackle four mountains one after the other, at the end of which they will pedal back home. After climbing Seefin (528m) this Saturday, they will cycle to Lugnaquilla (925m) in Co. Wicklow – a distance of 180km. They will then climb Lugnaquilla and cycle to Slieve Donard where they will hike up Mweelrea (814m). Three mountains conquered, they will pedal back down to Killarney, where they will take on Ireland’s highest mountain, Carrauntoohil (1038m), after which they will cycle back home.
In all, Tim and Ross will complete 4,155m of climbing, with over 1,100km of cycling in between, and locals are welcome to join them on Saturday as they tackle the first leg on Seefin Mountain.
Tim’s step-daughter Ellie was born in 2010 and from the moment she was born her mother Caroline knew everything wasn’t right with her vision. She went through three months of patching to try and strengthen her left eye, but by the time she was three years-old she was diagnosed as being blind in her left eye,
Ellie, being so resilient, carried on and didn’t let it hold her back until a routine check-up in 2018 showed swelling in her right eye. This led to a lot of hospital appointments from Limerick to Temple Street, and Beaumont Hospital where she had four lumbar punctures, and three times she had an ICP monitor fitted, which involved a hole being drilled in her head and a monitor being placed inside to monitor the pressure. Eventually a diagnosis was made that she had a rare form of cancer called Eeningioma, which was causing her to go fully blind. The main concern was to try and protect the vision she had left in her good eye, which was estimated to be only 40% and rapidly declining, with an estimate of only 6 months left before she went blind. Nothing could be done in Ireland for her, and her only hope was proton radiation treatment in Essen in Germany,
This news was devastating for the family, but the Gavin Glynn Foundation contacted Caroline and told her they would help with the cost of travel and accommodation. Thankfully Ellie’s time in Germany has been a success, her treatment went as planned and everything went smoothly. From the perspective of having to move to another country for a month, Caroline’s only stress was what to pack for herself and Ellie, The Gavin Glynn Foundation took care of everything else.
As a token of appreciation for the help that the Foundation has given Caroline, Tim and their family, the hike/climb event for the next week is being organised to raise funds so that other families can benefit from the help and support that the Foundation gives to families.
If you would like to donate to the fundraiser, go to www.idonate.ie/fundraiser/timodriscoll567