Got a phone call this evening from my friend who had the idea to cycle from Hollywood to Napa to raise awareness and funds for An Saol. He had spent some time looking at the route. He now had figured it out, he said.

It’ll be 11 days and 950 km, starting on 04 October, arriving on 14 October.

Route pic V1

Looking at it, I’m wondering wether I should exchange my chair for a saddle for the next few months, just to get used to the feeling (considering that I’m still recovering from a bit more than a one-day cycle:).

There’re a few lessons I learned from the Boston to Cape Cod cycle.

Preparation is good. Get people along the route for support. Get media support. Set up meetings with people ahead of time. Saddles are hard.

Like all of us, Pádraig is having good days and bad days. Overall, he is getting better, very slowly. But how much more better could he get with the right support and help.

Today, 16 years ago, my sister died after a short but very tough fight with cancer. For a while, and until the day before she died, I drove her from Tating to Hamburg for radiotherapy. There was never a question of stopping treatment.

I’ve been thinking about this today.

In Pádraig’s case, and that of so many others like him, there was never a question of starting long-term treatment (to speak of). Never mind stopping it. It is deemed to be a waste of precious resources, as we have been told by a consultant (on national Irish radio).

I know there have been individual therapists who have done amazing work. Work that has made a huge difference to Pádraig’s life. But that work went on over a few months. He requires this work to go on for the next years, if not for the rest of his life. And it should not be thanks to an individual’s efforts, it should be the normal way of ‘how it’s done’.

Someone who is dying receives expensive treatment, because that is what you do. Someone who wants to live his young life to the full receives physio visits for assessment, once a month, because this is ‘how it’s done’.

Hard to express how that makes me feel. Especially today.