Inspired by Sir Tom: Cork man Dan walks 100km in aid of Mercy Hospital 

Mallow man Dan Butler set himself the goal of walking 100km over 50 days, in aid of the Mercy Hospital, having been diagnosed with an incurable cancer last November, writes CHRIS DUNNE
Inspired by Sir Tom: Cork man Dan walks 100km in aid of Mercy Hospital 

Dan Butler at Mercy University Hospital. Picture" Darragh Kane

EVEN though Mallow man Dan Butler got the gut-punching news in November last year that he had an incurable cancer, it doesn’t consume all his waking thoughts. He has much more to think about while going about his daily life with a positive mindset.

Dan still works for the company for whom he has worked over 40 years, selling feed bins to the farming community. He also walks over 2km daily and tries to keep fit, which is very important.

Whilst watching the news one night, Dan heard of the death of charity fund-raiser Sir Tom Moore, aged 100, in England and decided then and there to do a walk for the Mercy Hospital Foundation Cancer Appeal. The walk is 100km over 50 days.

With the blessing of his family and with the help of Deirdre Finn at the Mercy Foundation, along with Peter and Denise McKenna, his good friends, the walk was organised.

“It is truly a very worthy cause,” says Dan. 

“The care and individual attention they give everyone in the Mercy Hospital is truly amazing.”

Dan Butler and his wife Celia Butler. Picture: Darragh Kane
Dan Butler and his wife Celia Butler. Picture: Darragh Kane

Dan is under oncologist Dr. Derek Power and his wonderful team in St Theresa’s Ward.

“Everything they do is orientated towards making every patient feel special and the nurses on the day I go in for chemotherapy are wonderful,” says Dan.

“They listen to all our stories and do their best to reassure us. Even when we are at home and have any questions to be answered, help is only a phone call away.

“I cannot say enough about all of these people, except to thank them from the bottom of my heart,” says Dan.

“That is the reason I am doing this walk, to repay them in some small part.”

Dan said he has made some great friends whilst in the Mercy hospital.

“Some of the other lads mightn’t be able to do something like this so I’m doing this for them as well,” he said.

“A friend of mine gave me a book on resilience and I found two lines in particular that help me every day, and they are: ‘Don’t give up because you’re tired, keep going, because you’re almost there’.

“See, the thing is, I have no control over this so there is no point worrying about it. I pray as well, and I pray for all the lads I’ve met at the Mercy. God does produce miracles.

Dan Butler with Dr Derek Power. Picture Darragh Kane
Dan Butler with Dr Derek Power. Picture Darragh Kane

“I’m not feeling tired at the moment. In fact, I’m feeling good, touch wood. I hope to be around for a good while yet.”

He said he’s been blown away by people’s kindness and generosity in recent weeks.

“It is truly amazing how people have rallied around and donated to such a worthy cause.”

Dan would like to thank everybody who has contributed to his fund-raiser.

Families everywhere have been affected by cancer.

“It’s only when you ring people to tell them what you’re doing that you realise how many people, how many families, have been affected by cancer,” says Dan.

To date Dan has raised over €20,000 towards the Mercy Hospital Foundation Cancer Appeal.

After handing over the cheque to the Mercy Hospital Foundation Cancer Appeal, he planned on winding up his own fundraising campaign due to time constraints but he hopes that he will have encouraged people to donate to the Mercy Hospital Foundation, which helps to support patients and their families through every step of their cancer journey, from diagnosis through treatment.

Dan Butler and his wife Celia Butler with Dr Derek Power and Maria O’Connor, Mercy University Hospital Picture: Darragh Kane
Dan Butler and his wife Celia Butler with Dr Derek Power and Maria O’Connor, Mercy University Hospital Picture: Darragh Kane

Interim CEO at The Mercy Hospital Foundation, Julie Harris, thanked Dan for his incredible generosity.

“These funds help to make such a difference in the lives of cancer patients at the Mercy. We are so grateful to all those who have supported Dan so far,” she said.

Dan said he then has plans to focus on spending time with his family, including his beloved wife, Celia, their children Sharon, who lives in Mallow, Anita and her husband, Tony, who live in Courtbrack; Alan and his wife Bita, who live in California; Richard and his wife, Carina who live in Glanworth, and Keith and his wife Cornelia, who live in Mallow, and their seven grandchildren, Daniel, Darren, Conor, Eoghan, Ronan, Cara and Alana.

They all hope to gather to celebrate Dan and Celia’s 46th wedding anniversary later this year, on August 9.

What is Dan hoping to do when he can travel outside the county?

“On a good day in May, I want to sit on my deck chair with a flask of tea and a sandwich and watch all my family with their kids enjoying being at the seaside and listen to the kids laughing and playing,” says Dan.

“That’s a memory I’d love to have. That would make me a happy man.”

Donations can be made online at www.mercyfundraising.ie by mentioning ‘Dan Butler’s Walk’, or by phone on 021-4274076.

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