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On bike in Cuba for cancer charity

Bealnamulla native Deirdre Finneran will be taking to the roads of Cuba next March to raise funds for a crucial cancer support service in Ireland.

"I am planning to cycle across Cuba next March with some friends. I know what youre thinking - Why??" says Deirdre. "We are doing this cycle to raise much needed funds for ARC Cancer Support. Our aim is to raise in excess of €14,000 and we need your help!"

The nine-day cycle is just one of a number of fundraisers planned by 24-year-old Deirdre and fellow cyclists, Paddy Butler and Rossa O'Neill, over the coming months. Taking in 340 kilometres over five cycling days, the tour is a point-to-point road tour in the western provinces of the island. The route is classified as 'challenging, with terrain ranging from undulating to hilly with several steep and demanding climbs and downhill descents - and plenty of potholes. With a hot semi-tropical climate, and an average temperature of 28 degrees C in the dry season of March, completing the cycle will be no mean feat.

The fundraising activity doesnt stop there either. Before March comes around, a number of events are being planned in the Athlone area to help reach the €14,000 target.

On November 4 at 2pm a pitch & putt tournament has been arranged for Woodview Pitch & Putt Course, Bealnamulla. A table quiz will be held on November 30 in The Mill Bar and Restaurant, Bealnamulla at 8pm. A church gate collection is also being organised in Taughmaconnell and Drum.

Chosen charity, ARC Cancer Support Centre, is a voluntary organisation and registered charity. The first of its kind, the aim of ARC House is to provide a professional support service to adults affected by all types of cancer, no matter where they are being treated in Ireland.A holistic approach to supportis used as a complement to primary medical treatment.

For the past 10 years, ARC has been supporting people affected by cancer. In 2005 over 1,200 people availed of their services, with visits to ARC House consequently exceeding 7,200. All services are free of charge but donations are always gratefully accepted. Although not a medical centre, ARC have referrals from hospital staff and health care professionals, and services include counselling by oncology nurses and psychotherapists, informational and educational cancer related courses, and selected research-based complementary therapies.

Deirdre is calling on members of the public to get involved and support her fundraising activities. "Over the coming months, we will be organising fundraising events but if anyone would like to sponsor us, you can do so online. Any contribution is greatly appreciated no matter how big or small, just go to and you can either make a donation or pledge to make a donation," says Deirdre.

Source: Athlone Advertiser

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