Dr Marty Holland presents the proceeds from the first leg of his Coast for Cancer challenge to Mark Mellett, Head of Fundraising, Irish Cancer Society.
April 18, 2017

Doc Martin to resume couch-surfing expedition in Donegal as he prepares to complete 4,000km Coast for Cancer walk

Couch surfing pensioner Dr Marty Holland will kick off the second leg of his Coast for Cancer challenge this Thursday, a 4,000km walk around the coast of Ireland in aid of the Irish Cancer Society.

The 66-year-old Belfast native, a long term resident of Cratloe, Co Clare, has already walked over 2,000km and raised over €30,000 to support cancer patients through the Irish Cancer Society.

He resumes the second half of his challenge in Muff, Co. Donegal on Thursday, having already walked from Clare to Derry in an anti-clockwise direction around coast. Marty will walk the entire Donegal coast taking in locations including Malin Head, Buncrana, Letterkenny, Dunfanaghy, Portnoo, Killibegs and Bundoran on route to Sligo.

As part of his unique fundraiser, Marty is couch surfing around the country, relying on the kindness of strangers to put him up overnight. So far he has been welcomed into over 50 private homes, and is appealing to locals to help him out by donating at https://give.everydayhero.com/ie/coast-for-cancer, or by providing him with a place to sleep as he walks the coast of the county.

Marty plans to walk daily until he reaches the Clare border on June 30th and completes his challenge to raise €50,000 to support the work of the Irish Cancer Society.

Marty was inspired to take up the challenge to fundraise for the Irish Cancer Society after witnessing two friends die from cancer. “Watching two dear friends die from cancer was devastating. So I decided to take action and join the fight back against cancer, so that hopefully one day we can stop this dreadful disease. The most powerful weapon against cancer is research and I have seen the benefits of on-going research in the growing number of people who are surviving and recovering from cancer including my own sisters and brother.

“The Irish Cancer Society invests heavily in research, and also support services to help people on that cancer journey. If by undertaking this coastal journey around Ireland, I can help stop cancer and support people going through it, then every single step will have been worth it,” he added.

Since 2010, the Society has committed over €20 million to cancer research making it the leading voluntary funder of cancer research in Ireland. This investment has supported more than 150 cancer researchers, from laboratory researchers to research nurses to population scientists to work on a diverse range of individual or collaborative projects that will ultimately lead to better ways of diagnosing and treating cancer.

The Society also provides a range of support services including Night Nursing to care for seriously ill patients in their homes, a freephone Cancer Nurseline 1800 200 700 providing advice and support, and a Volunteer Driver Service to bring patients to their hospital appointments.

To donate visit https://give.everydayhero.com/ie/coast-for-cancer

Those wishing to offer support of any kind can contact Marty directly at his email address coastforcancer@gmail.com  He would particularly welcome offers of accommodation and/or transportation of luggage from point to point along the route.