Super mountain men raise over €11k for boy’s surgery

By Maurice Garvey

TWO men hiked over 200km of rugged terrain in a seven-day challenge, to help send Clondalkin child Kal Jennings to the USA for life-changing surgery.

Mark Lacey, owner of Fit Zone in Palmerstown, and Martin Walsh, a Chief Legal Counsel in IFSC House, embarked on a ‘7days 26 peaks 32 counties’ adventure between August 12-18.

Seven Days 26 Peaks

Mark Lacey and Martin Walsh.

The pair didn’t face the best of weather during the week, and although their “bodies broke down” they “just got on with it”, according to Mark.

They overtook their target of €10,000 for Kal, the GoFundMe page reaching €11,187 by Tuesday afternoon.

Kal (3) is diagnosed with central palsy spastic diplegia and PVL brain injury.

His parents Ashley Byrne and Derek Jennings, from Old Tower, are trying to raise €100,000 to send their boy to the States for Selective Dorsal Rhizotomy (SDR) surgery – which could help Kal to walk independently.

Over €89,000 has been raised so far by many people and local businesses, with Mark and Martin’s efforts boosting this up to the target level.

Posting their numbers on social media, the pair covered 2,884km in a car, climbed 201km of mountains, and burned over 35,527 calories.

Mark thanked “all our drivers” who got them to their starting points, and the B&Bs and hotels “in helping us drying out our clothes and making sure we had packed breakfast.”

“It was great to see so many people at our last climb in Kippure, and yet again we brought the rain and fog with us, but it gave you a small taste of what we went through this week,” said Mark.

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