In 2012 I came to hear about the CROSS RUGBY LEGENDS Cycle in aid of Cancer research and introduced my son Donal to the idea. He was recovering from his second round of treatment where by half of his lung was removed and he was getting back to full fitness through a cycling program he had undertaken. He jumped at the idea of joining the Legends for some of their Mizen to Malin trip and we agreed with his trainer that he could do the Molls Gap to Killarney cycle and then lead the group into Tralee.
He joined the group in Bantry for the first leg and assisted the back up team in whatever way he could up to Molls Gap and then, with a prosthetic knee & 2/3 normal lung capacity, cycled into Killarney with the group. He then joined the group again outside Tralee and was given a rapturous welcome home by family & friends as he led the Legends to their Tralee base.
Since then Donal had a third battle with cancer and rose to prominence in Ireland and across the globe in his outreach to #LIVELIFE to the fullest. He has written extensively about his treatment for cancer, his zest for life and his “Climbing of God’s Mountains”. On 12th May 2013 Donal climbed God’s last mountain and passed on to his reward peacefully, and the nation stood in gentle silence as he was laid to rest.
Cross Rugby Legends have undertaken to nominate a Stage of their annual cycle in tribute to this young man who joined them in their inaugural event and so have a special stage from Tralee RFC to Molls Gap called CROSSDONALSMOUNTAIN.com on Friday 13 September 2013 in place where I, Donal’s dad, will lead a group to join the legends in Killarney for their challenge on one of Donal’s Mountains.
Donal’s mother, at his Celebration of Life ceremony, called on the world leaders to put in place more funding to combat this terrible disease. We are, as was Donal, not just vocal backers of this call, but support this in every practical way possible, as we do with each of his charities, and so are happy to be associated with the CrossRugbyLegends Tour once again this year.
Fionnbar, Elma & Jema Walsh