Along with her trusted ‘Harley Davidson’, 83-year-old Shelagh Mcdonough is proving that she is no ordinary granny.
A patient-turned-fundraiser at St Christopher’s Hospice, Shelagh is making sure to live life to the fullest. Now she has set off on another adventure.
For five days, the West Norwood woman will make the arduous journey from Sydenham, through Croydon and all the way up to London Bridge before finishing at her home in Lambeth, travelling only by mobility scooter.
“You don’t have to stop living life just because you’re old,” she said.
“You can enjoy yourself, help others and die well when the time comes.”
It was seeing live footage of the hospice’s London to Paris bike ride back in June that inspired Shelagh to embark on her trip.
“I was sitting in St Christopher’s café watching this wonderful bike ride and I thought that I’d really like to support the hospice too.
“I’m not in a position to donate money but the hospice has changed my life and although I can no longer cycle, I could make a journey on my scooter.
“Fortunately my son Martin recently bought me an amazing electric scooter; it’s like a Harley Davidson.”
A sponsored journey through all five boroughs that the hospice supports seemed like the perfect route, and Shelagh’s friends have even given her somewhere to stay each evening.
Shelagh has breast cancer and has suffered with chest and heart issues as well as having cellulitis in both legs. Shelagh spoke to her doctor to ask where she could go to find people who would talk openly about death and dying, because no one else would: her doctor referred her to St Christopher’s.
“I feel so much happier and I’ve met so many lovely people,” she said.
“Everybody has to die, that’s just a fact, but I want to approach the end of my life in a spiritual way and not allow negative feelings or thoughts to be part of my life and I find that at St Christopher’s I can do that. I am a glass half full kind of person.”
Fundraiser at St Christopher’s, Remi Knight said: “We have been absolutely inspired by Shelagh’s efforts to fundraise for the hospice.
“A five day journey is quite arduous and we’re very touched that Shelagh has been so affected by the support that she’s offered here, that she’s making such a commitment on our behalf. Please support Shelagh in her fantastic effort.”
Shelagh started her journey on September 26 and is expected to finish on September 30. She has already helped raise £600. To donate click here.