Kinawley parents Thomas and Fiona Drumm have been undertaking a mammoth challenge in aid of the Lilly Foundation. The pair have almost finished cycling the 1000 miles each to raise funds and awareness for the Lilly Foundation, a charity which raises funds for research into mitochondrial disease, for which there is no cure.

The challenge is the Mito Miles Challenge where you could run, walk, cycle or do whatever you can to accumulate miles. The charity aims to reach a total of 24,901 miles, a circumnavigation of the world, by 19th September2020, the end of Global Mitochondrial Disease Awareness Week

Fiona said: “The original plan was to cycle the equivalent length of Malin head to Mizen and back which is around 800 miles in total. But we rounded up to 1000 miles because obviously we could choose when we did the cycle and were able to avoid the weather and all that.”

The couple had planned to raise £1 each for every mile cycled but have now raised over double their expected target £5,000 for the charity.

Two of the Drumm’s Children Lochlainn (20) and Éilís (14) have been diagnosed with the condition, the strand of the condition that affects Lochlainn and Éilís means that the two siblings are partially sighted. Mitochondrial disease primarily impacts the muscles in the body as the mitochondrial cells are the cells which converts food cells into energy for the body to function. The Drumm family have been informed that Lochlainn and Éilís are two out of six people in the world with this strand of the condition.

The reality of living with two members of the family with a rare condition can be difficult. However, Fiona explained that Coronation Street are currently running a storyline on mitochondrial disease and it’s impact which has led to much more awareness of the condition. Fiona said: “it’s great to have it highlighted on a major programme such as Coronation Street. The actress who plays Leanne Battersby (Jane Danson) has been on Loose Women and other programmes highlighting the condition and the Lilly Foundations work.”

However, Fiona says that it has not stopped her two children from living life to the full. Lochlainn is currently completing a course at South West College and he has recently completed work experience at Quinn’s stores in Derrylin. Both Lochlainn and Éilís are keen swimmers and members of the local boccia team in the Lakeland forum. They closely follow Kinawley GAA where their family are active club members including their other siblings Ainé (18) and Páidí (15).

Fiona praised the Lilly foundation for the work they have done to support her family and other families. Fiona said: ”More awareness needs to be raised for more funding for research for mitochondrial disease as there is no known cure.”

If you would like to donate any money in aid of the challenge, you can do so by visiting. www.justgiving.com/fundraising/FionaThomasDrumm-Malin2Mizen.