TWO County Limerick postmen are due to set sail later today in an effort to raise funds for Cancer research.
Both men, postman Chris Egan from Coolcappagh and farmer and diver Dave Bevan from Bruff, are now on the road to recovery from cancer and their hope, in sailing around Ireland, is that their sea-journey will help raise significant funds for cancer research.
“When I was sick, I was dreaming about sailing and wondered would I ever again get on a boat,” says Chris, who has been a member of the Foynes Yacht Club for the past 14 or so years.
“My own journey through cancer was good although up to the time I was properly diagnosed it was a nightmare scenario. I said then I would go around Ireland for cancer research.”
At the time Dave agreed to the voyage, he was doing so out of solidarity because his wife Ann had had cancer. Since then however Dave has had his own diagnosis of colon cancer and is currently coming to the end of his chemotherapy.
He has been preparing for the trip for months. “It has kept me busy,” he says. “I am really looking forward to it. I like being out on the ocean.”
Their sail, Chris explains, will not be a non-stop affair. They will have to berth their vessel, the 30-foot Inizi, somewhere safe and return to Limerick for Dave’s chemo and for Chris’s regular two-monthly top-up for his Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
“I still have a lump in my stomach and one in my groin but they are contained,” he explains. The sailing duo will also have the back up and on-board support of various members of Foynes Yacht Club at different times.
Their sea odyssey begins this Saturday when they sail from Foynes and head for Limerick, and the Clarion at Steamboat Quay.
At 3.30 on Sunday afternoon, Limerick hurling captain Donal O’Grady will send them on their way with a flourish.
The Inizi will then travel to Foynes where there will be an evening of traditional music and barbecue for their supporters.
Then, at approximately 4.30pm next Monday, they will sail on the tide on the next leg of their long journey, which Chris reckons could take as long as six weeks or even more.