Two friends from Clonakilty, Andrew Bradley and Kevin O’Donovan, are preparing to paddle the length of the River Shannon this May in a bid to raise €10,000 for Down Syndrome Cork and Limerick.
Tackling 36km per day, the duo will attempt to kayak the 364km River Shannon in just two weeks. Setting off from its source – the Shannon Pot – in County Leitrim on Saturday, May 3, they will camp each night and fundraise for their chosen charities along the way, hoping to cross the finish line in Limerick on Saturday, May 17.
Growing up with a brother with a disability, the cause has always been one close to professional photographer Andrew’s heart. However, while on a shoot with a client whose daughter had Down syndrome, Andrew realised the enormous amount of energy, commitment and adaptability needed by these families. Keen to champion and support these families, Andrew and Kevin, who are both married fathers-of-three, were inspired to combine their love of the outdoors with their passion for the cause.
Commenting on their fundraising efforts Andrew Bradley said; “It is important to highlight the strength and positivity of the families who have loved ones with Down syndrome and to understand how a shift in one tiny chromosome at birth dramatically changes and refocuses their entire family unit.”
He continued; “Sharing the message that the person comes first and the syndrome comes second is important to us and this is fundamentally what has spurred Kevin and myself to raise funds for these two great charities and awareness for the global cause.”
Andrew and Kevin are hoping people will support their cause and help them to reach their €10,000 target by the time they finish their expedition. On Saturday, May 17, supporters are invited to join Andrew and Kevin at the finish line for a fundraising BBQ which will take place at The Locke Bar in Limerick at 6pm. Tickets cost €20 with all proceeds going directly towards Down Syndrome Cork and Limerick.
Donations to ‘Shannon Paddle for Down Syndrome 2014’ can be made via the My Charity webpage http://www.mycharity.ie/event/andrew_bradleys_event/ and information can be found on their facebook page https://www.facebook.com/shannonpaddle2014. All funds raised by Andrew and Kevin will be donated to Down Syndrome Cork and Limerick.