EUGENE McCabe from Dunmurry recently undertook an expedition to Peru in aid of Northern Ireland’s Cancer Fund for Children; pushed himself outside his comfort zone, whilst raising an incredible £32,383.96 for children with cancer.
The challenge, known as ‘The Inca Trail Challenge’, is a four-day trek across the Andes to reach Macchu Pichu.
The team of 27 individuals from across the UK, included 19 from Northern Ireland, with a six strong team specifically from the Henderson Group.
The Henderson ‘Happy Feet’ team undertook the challenge in order to raise vital funds for EUROSPAR and ViVOXtra’s official charity partners. Northern Ireland Cancer Fund for Children is a tremendous charity, which provides practical and emotional support to children, teenagers and young people living with cancer and their families.
The Happy Feet team was formed in early 2011 and included Aidan Rodgers, Michelle Dineen, Kevin Hammett, Donna Farren, Davy Bennett and Eugene McCabe.
Over the course of a year, the team held numerous fundraising events such as nights at the races, cake sales, raffles, social media drives and bag packing collections plus undertook several training walks in preparation.
As a result of their sterling efforts, the group not only achieved their targets but surpassed it by a big margin, generating an amazing £32,383.96.
With the funds raised, the next challenge was to undertake the gruelling trek.
The team set off in September 2012 for a challenge of a life time. Trek Peru is an inspirational and challenging charity trek along the Inca Trail culminating at Machu Picchu, lost city of the Incas. Walking 4,010 metres above sea level, camping in sub-zero temperatures at night, hiking over snow-capped mountains and facing the sweltering heat of the rainforest on the Inca Trail- it was for the team an unforgettable experience.
Talking about his experience and decision to undertake the challenge Eugene said: “Every week in Northern Ireland, three more children, teenagers or young adults will be diagnosed with cancer.
“This statistic resonated with us all and made us decide to undertake the challenge for NICFC.
“Despite the charity’s amazing work, it continually needs funds to operate and we were determined to push ourselves outside our comfort zone in order to make a real difference.
“It was a true test of personal endurance and we had been training for over a year, to ensure we were all physically prepared for the trek.
“Throughout the trek there were many highs and lows, but the end goal helped keep team morale high and motivate us to keep going.
We would like to give a big thank to everyone who has supported us and donated money; as without their help we could not have completed our challenge or have surpassed our original target by the fantastic amount we did.
“The trek was not easy but extremely rewarding. We now hope our funds will help make a difference for the charity and their children it supports.”
Corporate Fundraiser for NICFC, Sorcha Chipperfield added: “We are so grateful to have the support of Henderson Wholesale and in particular Eugene’s trekking team Happy Feet.
“The group have gone above and beyond for their fundraising and should be immensely proud of what they have achieved
“The money raised will go a long way to support local children, teenagers and young people who are living with cancer, at a time when they most need it.
“I want to wish the new trekkers team ‘Far Footers’ from Henderson’s all the best of luck as they prepare to trek the Great Wall of China in 2013.”
NICFC are the corporate charity partners of the Henderson Group’s supermarket brands, EUROSPAR and VIVOXTRA, a local based charity that provides excellent support for those children and their families who suffer from cancer within NI.
For further information contact www.nicfc.com