Longford Lions Club are gearing up to host not one, but two charity cycles, next month for the Geraldine Lavelle Trust.
The trust was set up for Castlebar woman Geraldine Lavelle, who sustained serious injuries after an accident in Longford on October 31, 2013,
“I was out cycling and I had a collision with a truck,” Geraldine told the Leader recently.
A graduate of NUI Galway, having attained a first class honours MSc degree in Neuroscience as well as a first class Bachelor of Science honours undergraduate degree in Physiology, Geraldine was working for Abbott Diagnostic Division as a Diagnostic Technologist at the time of the accident.
She was living in Abbeycartron and had taken part in two cycling events; a healthy living intiative run by Abbott and a fundraising cycle for MS.
“I was airlifted to the Mater and I had to do 24 hours on traction,” Geraldine continued, explaining that her injury was known as a C67 Fracture/Dislocation, which left her paralysed from the chest down.
It was, of course, devastating news for sports fanatic Geraldine. A qualified gym instructor, Geraldine is highly passionate about many sports, but she has not let her injury get in the way of that passion, taking up Handcycling, Wheelchair Basketball and Horseriding. She has also taken part in various competitions.
“I went over to the Inter Spinal Unit Games in Stoke Mandeville,” she revealed. “It was really good fun and I actually got the Marchday Shield Award”.
According to Geraldine, “it was an honour” to receive the award as it is presented to one competitor for ‘overall outstanding achievement and endeavor’ across all sporting events.
The Geraldine Lavelle Trust has seen sponsored runs, concerts, bake sales and all manner of fundraisers being held all over Ireland and the world in support of this extraordinary young woman.
“It’s lovely,” she smiled. “It just makes you feel like there’s people behind you, backing you.”
Thanking the Longford Lions Club, who already made a substantial donation to the trust, Geraldine added, “they’ve been unbelievable, so have Abbott. So has everyone!”
The fundraisers, backed by Abbott, kick off on Saturday, August 22 with a family fun cycle along the canal. Participants will gather at the rear of the Market Square at 6.30pm and will get to enjoy the scenic royal canal cycleway.
Entry fee is €10 for an individual or €20 for a family. Sponsorship cards are also available.
On Sunday, August 23, cyclists will gather at the Mall at 11am for the second event, which will consist of 25k and 50k cycles. Entry is €20, or again, sponsorship cards can be obtained from Lions Club members Niall Gannon (086 8507730) or Paddy Quinn (087 2569801) or from Raleigh’s Texaco on the Dublin Road.
The cycle route for Sunday will be made available online in the coming weeks. For more information, search for Longford Lions Club on Facebook.