independent

Monday 18 December 2017

Tánaiste lends support to Ian's marathon cycle effort

FUNDRAISING CYCLE ALL THE WAY FROM ALAKSA TO ARGENTINA

FINTAN LAMBE

TANAISTE and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade Eamon Gilmore TD last week wished Gorey cyclist Ian Lacey ' bon voyage' and safe cycling, as he sets off on his fundraising cycle from Alaska to Argentina in aid of The Carers Association.

On July 15, Ian (25), and his friend Lee Saville (26) from Denver, Colorado, will set off on the Pan American Highway from the northern tip of Alaska, to cycle the 17,000 miles down to the southernmost tip of Argentina.

Along the way, they will meet with the Irish Diaspora, ancestral Irish, and those with connections to Irish heritage on the expedition, which they have named '350 South', as they hope to complete the challenge in 350 days. The trip will be filmed for a documentary series for national broadcast next year, exploring Ireland's emigration trail.

The Tánaiste expressed his support for the trip and is confident that Ian and Lee will get a warm reception from Irish communities along the route. Ian Lacey said that Minister Gilmore's support for the fundraising trip is hugely appreciated.

The journey will see the team scaling three mountain ranges and cycling in desert heat in the US and Mexico to freezing winter temperatures in Chile and Argentina. Ian was inspired to undertake this trip after providing care for his grandmother, Lily, for eight years, until her passing in 2008. A young carer, Ian, along with his mother, began providing care for his grandmother when he was just 15 years old. Ian's mother, Emilie, provided full-time care for Lily for over ten years. Throughout this time, Ian saw his mother give up her job as a nurse and make many sacrifices to provide this care which moved Ian to fund-raise for The Carers Association. 'Lee and I came up with the idea for the cycle originally in Denver, Colorado in 2010,' he said. ' The dream has since grown from there and we are very excited to be leaving Ireland shortly for Alaska.'

'While the experience will allow us to see different places and hear the experiences of the Irish we meet on our travels, we are always conscious of our aim to raise €100,000 for The Carers Association,' he said. 'We are eager to raise as much money as possible to help family carers and urge people to support us. We will be blogging our experiences and posting updates on Facebook and Twitter during our trip so people can follow the journey and donate on www.350south.org'. Funds raised will go towards helping to lighten the load of Ireland's 161,000 family carers, who often provide round-the-clock care in the home for older people, the terminally ill, people with disabilities and children with special needs.

The Carers Association supports family carers by providing free in-home respite care to give family carers a break, training, support groups, a Freefone National Care Line and campaigns for recognition and better rights and entitlements for carers and helps carers take a break from their often twenty-four-seven caring responsibilities.

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