1,000km cycle from Cork to Geneva to raise blood donation awareness

A group of cyclists — including RTÉ’s southern editor Paschal Sheehy — will today set out on a gruelling 1,000km trip from Cork to Geneva to raise awareness about the importance of blood donation.

1,000km cycle from Cork to Geneva to raise blood donation awareness

The 2015 Blood4Life Cycle 2015 aims to arrive at the headquarters of the World Health Organisation by Sunday, June 14 which is World Blood Donor Day.

The volunteers who have trained for months for the cycle are hoping that their efforts will raise awareness about the importance of blood donation, and will in turn encourage people to become blood donors if they can.

Blood4Life was founded by Stephen Roe, a garda based in Cork City, whose son Alex was diagnosed with leukaemia in March 2005.

Five years of treatment followed and during that time, Alex received 50 blood transfusions.

He died on May 31, 2010, at the age of 21.

“The blood transfusions which Alex received kept him alive,” said Stephen ahead of the cycle.

“One pint of blood can save three people’s lives.”

The Blood4Life Cycle is in its third year having taken participants from Malin Head to Mizen Head in 2013 and through the 26 counties last year.

RTÉ’s Sheehy has been there from the beginning, for his own personal reasons.

“My father, Jerry, died of cancer in 1997,” Paschal said.

“Throughout his illness he received regular blood transfusions. I saw what a blood transfusion meant to my father — it meant life.”

The Blood4Life cyclists will travel from Cork to Rosslare today, before boarding a ferry to Cherbourg in France. Trips over the proceeding days will take the group from Cherbourg to the city of Caen, and onto Chartres.

Friday and Saturday will feature spins from Chartres to Auxere and Auxere to Chalon Sur Saone, before the cyclists descend into Geneva and the headquarters of the World Health Organisation on Sunday.

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