Westport man grateful for successful Reek fundraiser

Kenneth Gannon, Westport, and the group of climbers on Croagh Patrick who raised funds for Brain Tumour Ireland.

Kenneth Gannon, Westport, and the group of climbers on Croagh Patrick who raised funds for Brain Tumour Ireland.

A Westport man, whose heartbreaking loss of both of his parents to brain tumours prompted him to organise a fundraiser on Croagh Patrick in their honour, says he is extremely grateful for the support he has received for his efforts to raise awareness about the condition.

Kenny Gannon also said he used his time on the summit of Mayo's holy mountain on the day of the event to say 'a little prayer' for the many Irish families affected by brain tumours.

He and a group of friends scaled the Reek in aid of Brain Tumour Ireland at the end of April.

Mr Gannon lost his father Bertie, who was just 47 at the time, to a brain tumour in 1998.

Devastatingly, the condition struck his family again in 2009 when his mother Mary was diagnosed with a brain tumour and died the following year, aged 54. 

Mr Gannon said he kept his own personal experience with the condition in his mind during the fundraising climb.

“It is important to remember why we took on this challenge, and while at the summit I said a little prayer for all those who have died of brain tumours and for those who currently have the condition as well as their families, friends, and relatives," he said.

Mr Gannon said the fundraiser was a "fantastic day all round" in what turned out to be gloriously sunny conditions, despite the ominous weather forecast in advance of the event.

He extended his thanks to all of those who were involved in the climb, which attracted lots of support from local businesses as well. 

People can still donate to Mr Gannon's fundraiser on Mycharity.ie until May 25.

Cliona Doyle, spokesperson for Brain Tumour Ireland, said the charity was "extremely grateful" to Mr Gannon and all who supported the event.

"Events like this are really important both in raising funds but also to help raise awareness of the incidence of brain tumours, of which there are approximately 400 cases per year in Ireland," said Ms Doyle.

"Brain Tumour Ireland works to raise awareness of brain tumours and in the long term we hope to put funding into medical research in this area."

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