Titanic challenge for local women

Karen and Gwyneth at the top of Slieve Croob at the beginning of their walk.
Karen and Gwyneth at the top of Slieve Croob at the beginning of their walk.

Two Lisburn women recently took on a titanic charity attempt - walking from the summit of Slieve Croob to the Titanic Building in Belfast.

Karen Martin and Dr Gwyneth Hinds took on the challenge to raise funds for breast cancer research, as well as for the Lagan Dragons dragon boat team, formed by breast cancer survivors.

Karen had treatment for breast cancer two years ago, whilst Gwyneth is a breast cancer surgeon at Belfast City Hospital.

The pair met through the Lagan Dragons, and they have set themselves a challenge of walking 1,000 miles this year.

The challenge will see them walk the Belfast Marathon, the London Moonwalk, the Action Cancer Bra Walk and the Dublin Marathon throughout 2016.

However, they also wanted to raise money to help those locally affected by breast cancer and contribute towards research to help those who will be diagnosed in future.

Thus began their walk from Slieve Croob to Titanic - the mouth to the source, as Karen describes it - beginning at the mouth of the Lagan to the source at the sea, with the Lagan meaning so much to the pair through their connection to the Lagan Dragons.

Speaking about their charity mission, Karen commented: “I was diagnosed with breast cancer two years ago. Gwyneth is a breast cancer specialist I met through the Lagan Dragons. We began walking together and eventually we set ourselves some goals.

“I wanted to raise awareness and give back for the treatment I had, and also help for research for the people coming behind.

“We are delighted to have raised so much, with around £4,200 going towards the Centre for Cancer Research and Cell Biology and £1,400 going to the Lagan Dragons, for a cox box, a speaker for the boat and a camera for training.”

As well as completing their 52-mile walk over the weekend of June 10-12, the energetic pair then competed in the final of the Chinese Welfare Dragon Boat Festival with the Lagan Dragons, winning the cup to finish off a tremendous achievement.

Gwyneth added: “The walk was a wonderful opportunity to support research into breast cancer in Northern Ireland.

“We had fantastic support throughout and it was lovely to be able to raise so much, we are currently at £5,600

“It’s wonderful we were both able to do our walk.We had the support of our families, and when you know people are supporting you, you just get on with it.

“We actually finished and got into the boat and did the final race at the Dragon Boat Festival, although that was just using our arms, not our legs, thankfully.

“The support we had was just great, and it was a great sense of achievement to do it together.”