40 miles in memory of brave Christina

Joan Boyle who is taking on a 40 mile walk in memory of her brave sister Christina O'Kane. INCR45-152(S)
Joan Boyle who is taking on a 40 mile walk in memory of her brave sister Christina O'Kane. INCR45-152(S)

The journey from Glenullin to Dunloy is one that Joan Boyle and her sister Christina O’Kane travelled regularly.

Sadly Christina, a mother of three, lost her battle to breast cancer six years ago, but her sister Joan is determined not to forget the special memories she has of her brave sister.

Next month, Christina would have celebrated her fortieth birthday - and to mark the occasion, Joan will be walking 40 miles to raise funds for Cancer Research.

Joan’s journey will trace the roads that Christina drove regularly from her house in Dunloy back to her home town of Kilrea.

Joan’s sister-in-law Sophie Boyle takes up the story: “Christina was diagnosed with breast cancer when she was just 24.

“She fought it bravely for ten years, but sadly passed away six years ago.

“Christina and Joan were very close sisters.

“They don’t look alike, but they were always very close.

“Joan is determined to let Christina’s memory live on, and that’s why she’s set her self this challenge.”

Joan’s challenge will take place on Saturday, December 7 - three days after what would have been Christina’s fortieth birthday.

Sophie told The Times that since Christina’s death, Joan has been a real inspiration to the family: “Joan is a very shy person. She has set about doing this challenge as she’s determined that Christina’s death will not be in vain.

“Joan really wants to raise lots of money for Cancer Research to help others who went through what Christina did.

“Joan is a real inspiration to everyone that knows her. My husband, Joan’s brother tried to talk her into doing 40 kilometeres, but she went for the longer journey instead. She’s been training hard, and I have no doubt that she will complete her challenge.

Sophie is inviting friends and family of both Christina and Joan to the final stages of the walk.

“Joan is determined to do this on her own.

“She reckons she will finish the walk in about eight hours. Of course the light is minimal now, but Joan will be setting off at day break in a bid to get back to Glenullin again before it gets too dark. The last few miles will be very tough on her, so it would be great for people to come out and support her in the final leg of her journey.”