Nick provides a beacon of hope for cancer sufferers
ELATION is not the first word that comes to mind when you are battling cancer and have just finished a 2,000 km walk from Malin Head to the Old Head of Kinsale.
But for Englishman Nick Edmund (57), completing his four-month journey along the Wild Atlantic Way has been thoroughly satisfying and even enjoyable as he played the fourth hole at 40 clubs along the way to bring global awareness of his GlobalGolf4Cancer campaign.
“I am very pleased in that I feel we have established something and I am very excited about the future,” said Nick, who set off on the final leg of his journey to the lighthouse at the Old Head of Kinsale with GUI president John Moloughney proudly playing the pipes (right).
“I am incredibly grateful for the reception we had in Ireland. We were confident it was the right place to launch the campaign, and I don’t regret it for a second.
“So I am happy about what has happened here but even more excited about the future. Two months on my own diagnosis gave me a lot of thinking time and an opportunity to look to the future and other projects.”
Those projects include plans to walk from Prestwick to Dornoch in Scotland this autumn as well as trips across parts of South Africa and North America.
“The welcome has been consistently fantastic and it is absolutely uplifting,” said Nick, who had his right parotid gland and the lymph nodes on the right side of his neck removed before he completed the first 1,000 km of his journey along the Wild Atlantic Way last spring.
He planned to complete the second half last autumn, walking a further 1,000kms from Galway to Kinsale. But his plans were thwarted when a new cancer diagnosis required him to undergo four weeks of radiotherapy treatment followed by nine-and-a-half hours in surgery to replace his scalp with a graft from his left thigh.
“I was determined anyway, but if anything the new tumour made me more determined not to let it beat me,” explained Nick, who resumed his journey on March 4 and had strangers rush up to press crumpled €20 notes into his hand and wish him well, some of them walking with him for part of the journey.
“Bizarrely, I feel better right now than I ever had in my life. Growing the campaign really excites me, and it has given me an injection of positivity.
“It has made me realise so clearly what is important and I appreciate things more than I ever did before. It’s uplifting to get to see such a positive side to people, and I am excited about what’s ahead.
“There was no better place to finish than the lighthouse because they are symbolic places and one of the most memorable things has been people enjoying flying the flag for somebody. “The campaign has also been about spreading some light in people’s lives, and finishing by a lighthouse symbolises a beacon of light or hope.
“It’s been 2,000 km split over four months. The walk is all about building a campaign, and hopefully, in a few years lots of golfers around the world are flying the flag.”
He will be back in Ireland in July, returning to Ballyliffin, where he began his epic journey last year, for the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open.
His dream is to see the GlobalGolf4Cancer flag flying on the par-five fourth hole at Ballyliffin’s Glashedy Links on July 4, when the Pro-Am takes place.
“With Ballyliffin being the first and the fact that it’s hosting the Irish Open and Old Head and its lighthouse being the last, it all had a sense of something that was meant to be,” he said.
“To see the flag flying on the fourth hole on the 4 July in the Irish Open ProAm would be ideal but we will have to wait and see.”
Nick Edmund celebrates the completion of his walk at the Old Head, Kinsale