Friends to tackle 500-mile bike from Ireland to Norfolk in memory of five-year-old Finnbar

Some of the Finnbar 500 group. Picture: Submitted

Some of the Finnbar 500 group. Picture: Submitted - Credit: Archant

A team of medics will spin through the Emerald Isle as part of a 500-mile bike ride in memory of a five-year-old boy who died while fighting a brain tumour.

Finnbar Cork. Picture: Tristan and Claire Cork

Finnbar Cork. Picture: Tristan and Claire Cork - Credit: Archant

Paramedic Duncan Saunders will be joined by six colleagues for the Finnbar 500, a gruelling five-day ride from Cork, in Ireland, to Hethersett, where Finnbar Cork, who died earlier this month, lived with his family.

The group, who will be averaging about 100 miles a day, hopes to raise £10,000 through the feat, which will be given to Finnbar's parents Tristan and Claire, their friends, to donate to brain tumour research charities and local families coping with a tumour.

Their route was inspired by Saint Finbarr – the patron saint of Cork and the Woodside Infant School pupil's namesake.

Mr Saunders said: 'As soon we found out that Finnbar was poorly we wanted to do something. No-one knew what we should do though, others were organising fetes and doing marathons.


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'But I remembered when Tristan told me about Finnbar's name and the reasoning behind it – it just rung in my head and it seemed like the obvious thing to do.'

Their journey, from September 6 to 10, will take them from Cork to Duncannon and on to Rosslare, where they will take the ferry over to Fishguard in Wales, before cycling to the edge of the Brecon Beacons and over to Royal Leamington Spa.

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From there, they will venture back into the east as they arrive at the Fens, before starting the return journey back to Hethersett, with friends and family joining them at Swaffham to take on the last 50 miles together.

Mr Saunders said while some of the group were experienced athletes, most just 'enjoyed cycling every so often' and that, having trained in the flat Norfolk landscape, he was not looking forward to the steep inclines along the way.

In March, Finnbar was diagnosed with a brain tumour after his parents noticed he was having dizzy spells, changes in his personality and, later, headaches and nausea.

Over the following months, and despite spells of both chemotherapy and radiotherapy, he began to lose his speech, ability to walk, eat and even sit up.

Now, his parents are campaigning for greater research and funding into the tumours.

To donate, visit www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/finbarr500

Are you organising a fundraising event in memory of someone? Email lauren.cope@archant.co.uk

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