Walking solo for a beloved grandfather, to give payback for wonderful palliative care

By Aideen O'Flaherty

TREKKING from Marlay Park to Clonegall in Carlow is no easy task, but Stephen Coulahan is determined to undertake the challenge in memory of his late grandfather in order to raise funds for the Irish Cancer Society’s palliative care services.

The Clondalkin man saw first-hand how important the palliative care services are, as the nurses supported his grandfather in his final days and also helped his family.

Stephen Coulahan 03082017

Stephen’s grandfather, Peter Grey, was from Neilstown, and the 31-year-old still has fond memories of the time he spent with his grandfather.

“He was an amazing man, always talking,” Stephen told The Echo.

“There was always a story – he would never give you advice, but he always had a story.

“It was only looking back afterwards that I realised that when he told those stories he was giving you advice.”

Peter passed away in March after a long battle with cancer, and the Irish Cancer Society’s palliative care team became an invaluable resource for everyone in his family.

“They became family to us,” Stephen explained. “The level of comfort they provided to my grandmother, mother and uncles was unparalleled.

“They provided a lot of comfort, everyone was at ease.

“There’s not enough funding for everyone to get [this palliative care], if everyone got that it would make the suffering so much easier.”

Now Stephen will be taking on the 132km trek alone, which has a particular resonance for him as it connects with memories he has of his grandfather from childhood.

“My grandfather used to bring me up the Wicklow Way when I was a child, so this will be a homage to him.

“I’ll be going solo because I think it’s more for me – if I went with anyone else it would take the meaning away.”

Stephen will begin his five-day trek on August 21, and anyone who wishes to donate can visit his Just Giving page online at https://goo.gl/hyBZBp .

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