Ex-soldier’s gruelling 100km desert trek challenge

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A former soldier is taking on a gruelling desert challenge in memory of an “inspirational” friend who died of a brain tumour. 

This week, Gerry O’Bradaigh is taking on the Oman Desert Challenge to complete a solitary 100km trek across the Rub' al-Khali desert. His five-day challenge, which started on Tuesday (7th November), will see him sleeping in a bivvy bag and eating rehydrated food. 

Before embarking on his epic trek, the 66-year-old said: “It’ll be a physically demanding challenge, with heat and distance the main obstacles, but doing it is certainly within my capabilities. I’ll aim to cover as much as I can in the first few days before I get too tired.” 

He is hoping to raise at least £2,740, which is enough to sponsor a day of research at one of our four Centres of Excellence. 

His fundraising is inspired by his friend, Sean Crossey, who was diagnosed with a glioblastoma (GBM) in August 2016. Sean underwent three brain surgeries, chemotherapy and radiotherapy but died in September 2018, just three months after marrying his long-term partner, Laura. He was 29 years old. 

Gerry added: “Before Sean, I had no idea how prevalent and devastating brain tumours are. Now I want to do all I can to keep awareness of them at a high level and raise vital funds for research.” 

“I’m looking forward to remembering Sean because what happened to him, although devastating for his family, also traumatised his friendship group. I’ve got photos of him on my phone so will keep that close.  

“It’s also Remembrance Sunday whilst I’m away and the military friends I’ve lost are always on my mind so that will no doubt come into it.” 

To support Gerry’s fundraising, please donate via his JustGiving page

Gerry and Sean 

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