Walk for Aoife is a 400 mile walk I completed in June 2016.
The walk took me from Manchester, where I live to Dingle, Irealnd, where I grew up.
The journey had many goals including fundraising for 2 charities, adventure, discovery, self-discovery, grieving and acceptance.
I undertook this journey in the name of my sister, Aoife, who died in 2011. Aoife had severe cerebral palsy and could not walk or talk, had to be spoonfed and pushed around in a wheelchair. I grieved for her all her life and in her death I hadn’t resolved my grief.
I undertook a journey in her name as I wanted my relationship with her to be my focus, my inspiration and the resolution of that relationship, my goal.
When I began I knew I would be walking I knew I would be fundraising. When I said yes to kayaking across the Irish sea, all 60 miles of it, from Holyhead to DunLaoghaire, the whole journey took on a new dimension. There was now serious risk, proper adventure; I was finally taking the big leap into doing something bigger than I ever had imagined. Especially considering I had only learned to swim last year and had only been in a sea kayak twice in my life before undertaking the mammoth paddle.
I walked to Holyhead with severe blisters on the soles of my feet but I kept going.
I had a stress fracture confirmed when I still had a third of the walking left to do.
But I kept going.
I reached Dingle one day before my estimated arrival date and to date I have raised upwards of £19,000 (€24,000) for 2 fantastic charities.