A newly-published book in memory of a former Greenisland Primary School teacher is helping to raise funds for cancer research.
Dermot Breen has embarked on a number of initiatives in support of the charity since his wife Jacqui passed away due to ovarian cancer in 2015.
In the summer of that year, he walked the entire 1,000 km (625 mile) long Ulster Way raising over £10,000. He has since journeyed 1,000 km across Northern Spain, produced and sold calendars and photographic prints based on both walks and held an online raffle.
To date he has raised £28,000 and hopes that his latest venture will soon push that total to over £30,000.
Dermot’s book is based on his Ulster Way pilgrimage in memory of his wife and how that walk brought him right to the edge, both physically and emotionally – hence the title, ‘The Edge: Walking The Ulster Way With My Angels And Demons’. Published by Shanway Press it has already received many five star reviews on Amazon.
The Edge in the title of the book refers not only to the physical edge Dermot encountered at the top of Binevenagh on the North Coast, but also to a highly emotional edge reached at the same spot, when very deep questions about the meaning of life and death came to the fore in dramatic fashion.
However, Dermot is quick to add: “The book does address grief and loss, fairly head on, so yes, there is the inevitable emotional journey, but this is intertwined with the physical journey – the preparation, the training and the actual walk itself, as I gradually make my way round the 1,000 km route of the magnificent Ulster Way.
“The Ulster Way passes through many fascinating, challenging and beautiful landscapes and I met many wonderful people. I was also able to weave in a good few myths and legends, and even a little sprinkling of legitimate history, associated with the places I walked through or near. And there’s even a little gentle humour along the way also.
“Thanks to the generosity of its supporters, Cancer Research UK spent around £3 million last year in Northern Ireland supporting the work of doctors, nurses and scientists who are dedicated to beating cancer by understanding its causes and investigating how best to treat it.
“However, the charity receives no Government funding for its ground-breaking research, relying on every pound donated for every step they make towards beating cancer. That is why I have decided that every pound raised through the sale of my book will go to Cancer Research UK.”
Jean Walsh, Cancer Research UK spokesperson for Northern Ireland, said, “ We are so grateful to Dermot for all his endeavours in helping to beat this dreadful disease. There are over 200 cancers and we won’t give up until we find cures for them all - so please buy a copy of Dermot’s book and, with your help, we will bring forward the day when all cancers are cured.”
The Edge: Walking The Ulster Way With My Angels And Demons costs £12.99 and is available in CRUK shops, online from Shanway Press at http://shanway.com/product/the-edge/ or via Amazon.