THE family of a North Belfast cancer patient has raised over £6000 for a local charity to support other cancer patients and raise awareness.

Michael O’Neill (45), who is chair of Pearses GAC on the Cliftonville Road was diagnosed with head and neck cancer last September.

Following the devastating news, his family signed up to run the Belfast Marathon to raise funds for Friends of the Cancer Centre who have provide vital support to patients and their families.

When the Belfast Marathon was cancelled due to Covid-19 restrictions, the family were undeterred and set off on their own ‘O’Neillathon’ marathon challenge in support of their brother, and uncle.

Running simultaneous marathons in Belfast, Newry and Wexford, they generated support from far and wide to raise funds for the charity, which are critical to helping individuals undergoing treatment and their families, with a range of support including financial aid, wellbeing services and therapeutic support.

Michael said: “I was overjoyed to be part of such a fundraising effort, for all the families that it will benefit.”

💚💛💚💛💚💛💚💛💚 There is currently a socially distanced marathon relay taking place across the North in aid of the friends of...

Publiée par Cumann an Phiarsaigh sur Dimanche 3 mai 2020

Sadly, Michael's condition has deteriorated and he has been diagnosed as being terminally ill, but he is still determined to fundraise and raise awareness.

This week Michael presented Ana Wilkinson of Friends of the Cancer Centre with the ‘O’Neillathon’ fundraising total of £6394.10. 

Ana said: “On behalf of everyone at Friends of the Cancer Centre and the hundreds of families you have helped us support, thank you from the bottom of our hearts, for inspiring others to make a difference and for raising so much awareness.”