On their bikes!

Written by | Charity, News

An intrepid trio of Wallace teachers (did someone mention Charlie’s Angels?) aim to complete a gruelling feat known as Castle to Castle from the 17th-18th of June! Mrs Melanie Gregg, Mrs Lisa Whitcroft and Wallace’s sporting heroine Mrs Maggie Hunter will cycle from Carrickfergus Castle to Ballycastle on Saturday 17th of June, returning the following day.

The “angels” will be raising money for the Oesophageal Patients’ Association (Northern Ireland); the specific purpose of the event is to raise funds for specialist equipment for the treatment of cancer patients in the Belfast City Hospital. The equipment is being sourced from Japan and will provide a very significant step forward in the treatment of oesophageal, stomach and colorectal cancers. It was developed in Japan a decade ago and is proving successful as a non-surgical cure for patients in 94% of cases. The new method is to use a suction cap fitted to the end of an endoscope which has a snare at its base. It creates a polyp with the suspected cancerous cells inside and allows for the total removal of the cancerous tissue. This will also give more accurate staging or grading information and the patient can go home within 24 to 48 hours with no invasive surgery required.

Currently no surgeon in Ireland has been trained to carry out this procedure. The goal of the Castle to Castle event is to raise £15,000 to train the Belfast City Hospital’s Consultant Gastroenterologist Dr Mainie, who will then be able to train other gastroenterologists in Ireland in the use of the equipment.

Frequent visitors to the Wallace website and former pupils will be familiar with the name Whitten: Mr Richard (Dicky) Whitten was a legend in the History and Politics Department, Ian Whitten (his nephew) a school sporting hero now playing professional rugby at Exeter and Julie who was an outstanding netball star. Richard’s brother, Mr John Whitten, has suffered from oesophageal cancer and the family members are enthusiastically backing this event.

The Wallace teachers are no strangers to sporting challenges. Mrs Gregg completed the Moon Walk in Edinburgh in aid of breast cancer research and abseiled the Europa for the Cancer Fund for Children and Mrs Whitcroft has completed the epic feat of running a marathon in aid of victims of sexual trafficking. Mrs Hunter’s exploits are too numerous to outline!

Wallace Principal, Mrs Deborah O’Hare said:

“Oft-repeated comments about Wallace being a family are not empty clichés. It comes as no surprise to me that staff are prepared to put themselves through rigorous training to help others in our extended family and the wider community. I wish the ladies well in this latest charitable challenge.”

If you would like to donate to this cause please click here.

Last modified: June 20, 2017