A Rasharkin man, who is registered blind, has set himself two challenges to raise money for Guide Dogs NI.
Brian Doherty is planning to walk 55 miles in one day from his home to the Giant’s Causeway this Sunday (10 July) while also hoping to raise £2,000 for the charity which means so much.
Speaking to the Times, Brian (50), who is partially sighted, explained: “In 2005 my eyesight started to deteriorate and within a short space of time I only had 10% of my vision due to Retinitis Pigmentosa.
“I couldn’t work, drive and my life just changed completely.
“I went through a period wondering what I was going to do. So I decided to go back to school and I have just passed last week a degree in Counciling. This has opened up my world and I can now pursue a career that will help others.”
For the past two years, Brian has been on the waiting list for a guide dog and has decided to ‘give something’ back to this worthwhile charity by fundraising.
Brian added: “I don’t let my sight loss get in the way of me doing a challenge. I love to walk, so I decided to do two challenges – walk 55 miles in one day and raise £2,000 for Guide Dogs.
“It is such a fantastic charity and gives so much to those in need. It costs around £40,000 to train a dog and hopefully my walk with give them a little help.”
Brian, his son and a couple of friends will start the walk at 5am and plan to arrive in Ballycastle at 4.30pm.
Having reached Ballycastle, he will be cheered on by local Guide Dogs fundraising volunteers, who will be having a bucket collection and adding to the money already raised!
Also at this stage, 40-50 walkers will join Brian at the Marine Hotel to walk the reminder 12 miles to the Giant’s Causeway.
It is estimated that all the walkers will arrive at the Giants Causeway at 7.30pm for welcomed refreshments.
Lesley Macaulay, Regional Fundraising Manager praise Brian’s tremendous attitude adding: “What a man! Brain’s determination and commitment in taking on this challenge has been an inspiration to us all.
“Guide Dogs NI receives no government funding. We rely totally on people like Brain to raise money enabling us to train our wonderful dogs and change lives of those who are blind or partially sighted.”
To donate go online: www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Brians55milewalk