Ronan ‘on the road’ for castle to castle cycle

Cool FM's Pete Snodden and Dr Inder Mainie giving sound support to Helen Setterfield, Chairperson of the Osophageal Patients Association (NI). Pic by Bill Smyth
Cool FM's Pete Snodden and Dr Inder Mainie giving sound support to Helen Setterfield, Chairperson of the Osophageal Patients Association (NI). Pic by Bill Smyth

The highs and lows of a forthcoming charity cycle will be captured on film by documentary marker Larne man Ronan Kelly.

Ronan has been asked to record the “Castle to Castle” fundraiser from Carrickfergus Castle to Ballycastle which takes place on June 17 and 18 over a distance of 110 miles.

The fundraiser has been organised by the Oesophageal Patients’ Association (NI) to raise £15,000 for the purchase of specialist equipment for the treatment of early oesophageal, stomach and rectal cancers at Belfast City Hospital.

The equipment will be a first for Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. It will provide a significant step forward in the treatment of certain cancers with early tumours being removed in one piece without the need for major surgery.

Consultant Physician and Gastroenterologist Dr Inder Mainie said: “This equipment will allow us to grade the cancer more precisely. Patients should be discharged from hospital between 24 and 48 hours after the procedure. Japan has been using this equipment for a number of years and its data shows the survival and outcomes are better in these patients. I am hopeful that people here will see the same benefits.”

Ronan, a well-known former broadcaster has suffered from throat cancer previously. He has stressed the importance of early diagnosis and is urging anyone who suspects they may have symptoms of oesophageal cancer to “do something about it”.

Sufferers will have difficulty swallowing or persistent heartburn. For further details about the charity or the cycle, visit www.opani.org.