With travel restrictions still in place, Ballyheigue native Rachel Hussey found herself in the heartbreaking situation in April of last year of not being able to travel home for her beloved grandfather’s funeral, nor has she been able to come home since.
er granddad, Jerry Galloway, passed away on April 19 of last year and Rachel said that it has been really difficult for her being away from her family for so long and so at the start of January, Rachel took it upon herself to commemorate her granddad in her own special way.
Rachel decided that she was going to walk the equal distance from her home in Liverpool to Ballyheigue around her local community – which roughly worked out at about 600 miles (965.6km) in 100 days – finishing in time for his anniversary in April.
On top of all this, as if that wasn’t enough, Rachel also decided that she was going to try and raise as much money for the Kerry Cancer Support Group as she could; at the time of writing, she has successfully raised over €888 for the organisation – well over her initial goal of €600.
Having started her walk on January 8, Rachel is well and truly into her challenge and despite some tired and sore legs in the first few days, she’s now fast approaching the finish line.
She spoke to The Kerryman this week about how it has been going for her.
“Well, initially we had the idea that we were going to climb 10,000 metres across different mountains around the UK and Ireland and we were actually going to finish at Carrauntoohil on the weekend of his anniversary.
I was going to go home for the anniversary mass but obviously, I can’t do this now so when lockdown happened again back in January, I had to come up with something else to do and so we decided on the walk instead,”
So far, Rachel said that she’s walked 428 miles in total and is on course to hit her target by April 19.
“The first week was tough and I ended up having to get an ankle strap because my ankles weren’t used to that kind of walking!” she laughed.
Elsewhere, good deeds clearly run in Rachel’s family with her sister Aisling successfully raising €775 for the Kerry Hospice through a swim on Christmas Day.