Kathy raises £3,000 in memory of dad Matthew McKillen

Jane Witherspoon

Reporter:

Jane Witherspoon

Local woman Kathy Cox recently raised a massive £3,000 for Macmillan Cancer Support by doing a sponsored walk around the North Antrim coast.

Kathy undertook the mammoth 103 mile trek in memory of her late father, Mr. Matthew McKillen of McKillen’s of Church Street.

Kathy completed the walk in 11 days on the anniversary of her father being cared for by the Macmillan team prior to his death on 22nd August 2018.

Specking to the Guardian after completing her walk, Kathy said: “I had always wanted to try the Camino Way walk in Spain after I started walking about two years ago.

“ I used to think that three miles was a long walk!

“However, on August 21, 2018 we said a very sad farewell to my Dad so it was a good time to do a remembrance walk.

“The last birthday present Dad bought me was a pair of walking boots so I decided to put them to good use.

“For those that knew Dad, he had the most amazing zeal for life, but he was happiest when he was driving around the North Antrim Coast, so that seemed like the appropriate place to plan my walk.

“I started at Magilligan, walking around the coast, through Dad's favourite place on earth, Portballintrae. Then on towards Ballycastle. It was then off to Rathlin Island to walk the whole way around it.

“I doubled back from Ballycastle and walked back to Portstewart, ending in the place where Dad loved nothing more than getting an ice cream from Morellis.”

Kathy received support from her mother Margaret and brothers Thomas and David, but also the staff of McKillens were on hand to help.

“The staff walked with me which was great. I normally don't walk on my own as I have a heart condition, but the company is lovely as I can tell stories of Dad, and talking about him brings back lovely memories.

“Walking over the first anniversary of his death gave our family something positive to focus on, especially for my Mum.”

Kathy has walked 1500 miles in total this year as part of the #walk1000miles challenge, and is hoping for 2020 miles next year with six walking challenges all planned again to raise money for Macmillan.

“Macmillan made the last few days of Dad's life as comfortable as possible and we really appreciated everything they did.

“They gave dad and our family the most fantastic support, so I hope that by doing this fundraising they can go on helping other families through tough times.”

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