A Cork man has successfully kayaked the rugged Cork coastline on his own to raise funds for Cork ARC Cancer Support House.
Jon Hynes, an experienced sea kayaker, undertook the challenge having seen first-hand the support that Cork ARC offers to patients and their families.
In March 2019, Jon’s wife, Alayne, was diagnosed with Breast Cancer. As her husband, best friend and father of their two teenage daughters, he vowed from day one of Alayne’s diagnosis, that if they could get through this, that he would use his sea kayaking skills to help “pay back” the support .
The journey totalled 253 kilometers, taking 4 days 19 hours 22 minutes, during some of the
warmest weather of the year. Starting on the Cork and Kerry border in Ardgroom, Kinsale man Jon paddled right up to the middle of the tidal line between Cork and Waterford in Youghal.
Speaking about the experience, Jon says: “The last two sections of the trip were not without hard work and challenge. The headwinds made for a big physical effort and one which I enjoyed immensely.
“I did this for Alayne, who is my best supporter. She trusts me every day on the water and allows us to be the best we can be out there”.
‘LADIES WHO LAUNCH’
What struck Jon most during Alayne’s treatment program was the immense strength and courage she and many other women drew from the range of support services provided by Cork ARC.
“The gratitude that I feel towards everyone across all the medical services in helping my wife survive breast cancer runs deep. In particular, though, I want to acknowledge by my kayaking paddle strokes just how much I appreciate Cork ARC, their fantastic team and their range of services.
“Cork is a beautiful place to live and thrive, but it is comforting to know that services like Cork ARC house are there when someone has a cancer battle on their hands. For this journey, I draw a lot of inspiration from Alayne and the ‘Ladies who Launch’, a fabulous and growing group of women in survivorship from cancer who kayak weekly, and I hope my efforts will serve to benefit many other women with access to support services,” he said.
While Jon had initially hoped to raise €5,000 he has surpassed this and is continuing his fundraising efforts for the next week or so. He has been blown away by the support he has received.