The father and Godfather of Niall McCann, who passed away last year at the age of 25, have made an amazing fundraising effort in his memory.
Niall’s father Gerald and his uncle Terence took part in the Camino Walk for the Southern Area Hospice, raising £11,000 in the process.
Gerald said: “It was our tribute to Niall. There’s not a day I don’t think about him and that will be the same for the rest of my days.”
“Terence is my younger brother. As well as being Niall’s uncle he’s his Godfather as well. They were very close.”
Niall graduated from university in June 2010 and the following February he was diagnosed with soft tissue sarcoma, a rare form of cancer that develops from cells in the body’s soft, supporting tissues. From the outset Niall didn’t want to dwell on the implications of the disease, instead he wanted to focus on living life to the full.
Having been given a year to live, Niall enjoyed just over two years with his family, girlfriend and friends before he said goodbye.
In that space of time Niall had four trips to Old Trafford to watch his beloved Manchester United.
As inspiration on the walk his dad Gerald brought a Manchester United top specially made for Niall’s funeral. Printed on the back is NED 87 - Niall’s nickname and the year he was born.
Gerald explained some of the things that went on before they took part in the walk.
“We held a few fundraisers - one of the biggest was a night in the Ashburn with four bands and a raffle which raised £5,000 to £6,000 alone,” he said.
“We had a few coffee mornings and ones from work organised a bowling competition. I think the reason we raised so much was because Niall had so many friends.
Of the walk itself, which Gerald and Terence took part in along with 27 other walkers, he said: “There were a couple of tough enough days. It ranged from days of 15K to days of 30K. The scenery was nice, some of it was very like Ireland.”
The brothers have raised £11,000 and counting for Southern Area Hospice and they have pledged to continue fundraising for this local cause.
Gerald said: “We only did part of the walk. We’re hoping to go back and do another stage of it.”