Newtownabbey man to take on Mourne challenge for Macmillan Cancer Support

Ray Burns from Glengormley is planning to take on the Mourne Wall Challenge in under 16 hours to raise money for Macmillan Cancer Support in memory of his mum who passed away from cancer in 2017.

Tuesday, 16th March 2021, 12:49 pm

Ray only started hill walking at the start of this year and was inspired to take on the Mourne Wall Challenge which involves trekking 22 miles, over 15 mountains which cover the seven highest peaks of the Mourne Mountains.

He is aiming to complete this in 14-16 hours, starting his challenge on June 26 at 5am and hoping to finish no later than 9pm that evening.

Ray said: “My inspiration to take part in this challenge came from the passing of my mum to ovarian cancer back in June 2017 where she spent her final week in the Macmillan Unit in Antrim Area Hospital.

Ray Burns.

“The staff there were exceptional in every way and it’s just a way I can give a little bit back.

“So far, I’m doing really well with fundraising as I set a target of £500 and as it sits, I’m currently at £1,430 on my JustGiving page with £100 on a sponsor form also, so that’s £1,530 all in with still four months to go.”

Since Ray started training in January, he has climbed Black Mountain and Cave Hill several times, Slemish Mountain and Slieve Donard along with hundreds of miles of road walking.

He added: “I intend to be on the Mournes every weekend from now until June making sure I know the route like the back of my hand before the challenge starts.

“My friend Stevie is an experienced walker so it’s been great to have his encouragement and it will be a real benefit to have him with me on the day.

“I am just grateful that I am fit and well to be able to do something like this to raise as much money as possible for this great charity. They did so much for my mum and for us as a

family. I just wish there was more I could do but I suppose if everyone does a little bit, we can make a difference.”

To donate to Ray’s fundraiser, visit his JustGiving page

If anyone is in need of cancer support, you can call the Macmillan Support Line on 0808 808 00 00, which is open seven days a week, 8am-8pm, or visit Macmillan’s Online Community.

For those who are experiencing cancer symptoms, you should contact your GP as they are still open and there for people with any concerns.

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