Derek’s epic Shannon voyage backed by Mayor and Western Trust

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Derry canoeist Derek Lishman’s epic bid to paddle up the River Shannon to raise money for people suffering from diabetes has gotten the thumbs up from the Mayor of Derry, Alderman Hilary McClintock and the Western Trust.

Derek and supporters were recently welcomed to the Guildhall by the Mayor.

Now the Western Trust has urged members of the community to get behind the Foyle Paddler and his pal, Martin Gallagher, who will together be embarking on a 400km paddle from Killaloe in County Clare to Smith’s Strand at the Share Centre in Lisnaskea, County Fermanagh.

Dr Emma McCracken from the Western Health and Social Care Trust explained how diabetes is a widespread condition in the North West and across the country and that any resources raised for research or supports are always welcome.

“There are approximately 4.5 million people living with diabetes in the UK, and an estimated 1.1 million people who have diabetes but have not yet been diagnosed,” she said.

Dr. McCracken personally commended Derek and Martin for undertaking the epic fund-raising journey.

“The team in SWAH and #DiabetesWest want to wish Martin and Derek all the best for their 400km adventure as they promote awareness of diabetes while raising money for Diabetes UK. Good luck,” she said.

Outlining the rationale for the bid, Derek and Martin, recently announced: “We are going to paddle the longest river in Ireland, the River Shannon, which is a distance of around 400 kilometres and we are doing this to help raise awareness for people with diabetes and the mental and physical problems that can come with it.”

The lads are hoping to do the 400km within 15days taking time off to stop at different towns to help raise awareness of diabetes and the associated mental and physical problems that come with it.

They pair will set off from Killaloe on March 12.

They’ll paddle north for roughly two weeks up past the Shannon Pot and into the Erne system where they will eventually beach in Lisnaskea.

“We are undertaking this challenge to get people to help raise awareness and hopefully make a positive difference in the way people can help and deal with their diabetes,” the duo explained.

“We will be leaving from Killaloe in County Clare and paddling to Belleek in County Donegal then finishing at Smith’s strand at the Share Discovery Village, Lisnaskea, County Fermanagh.

“We are hoping to do this within 15 days taking time to stop off at different towns and chat to people and to promote Paddle for Diabetes,” they added.

You can follow Martin and Derek on their Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/Paddle4Diabetes/

To find out more about what local supports are available for people who suffer from or believe they may be at risk from the condition you can learn more at the Western Trust Diabetes servics page at http://www.westerntrust.hscni.net/services/Diabetes.htm