D2K 2017 is taking on a 210km cycle and going ‘Into the West’

Paul Lannon and his wife Sandra

Paul Lannon and his wife Sandra

For the fifth year in a row, more than 100 enthusiastic riders are ready to leave Dunleer, Co Louth for the long road to Ballinasloe on June 10.

The cycle is to raise funds and awareness for the Irish Motor Neurone Disease Association (IMNDA ) and Paul’s Fight 4 Life.

Paul Lannon, the event founder, was diagnosed with motor neurone disease (MND ) in May, 2011. Originally from Kilkenny but now living in Dunleer, Paul says of this year’s endeavour:

“For me D2K has been a wonderful experience and great community event that has grown every year. We look forward to raising awareness and much-needed funding for MND every year. It’s always so wonderful seeing people come out every year to support the charity and me personally.”

It was just a month before his 41st birthday and less than a year after his victorious climb of the Four Peaks, when his doctors told him they could guarantee he would live for 12 months and that “everything after that would be a bonus”.

Six years later Paul is one of a group of some 350 people living with MND in Ireland. MND is often referred to as the 1,000-day disease, as most people die within 1,000 days of being diagnosed.

MND is a progressive neurological condition that attacks the motor neurones or nerves in the brain and spinal cord. This means messages gradually stop reaching muscles, which leads to weakness and wasting. MND can affect how you walk, talk, eat, drink, and breathe.

However, not all symptoms necessarily happen to everyone and it is unlikely they will all develop at the same time, or in any specific order. The IMNDA is the only organisation of its kind in this country. It was set up in May 1985 to provide care and support to people with motor neurone disease, their carers, families, and friends.

Shearwater Hotel management and staff look forward to welcoming D2K Cycle to Ballinasloe on June 10.

Keep up to date with the training adventures and what happens on the day by visiting the D2K cycle Facebook page at www.facebook.com/D2KCycle


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