Matthew’s progress through 2017…

An update on Matthew’s progress and a BIG thank you to all for supporting the Mighty Matthew Trust Cycle 2017.

In 2017 Matthew left school and moved into an adult day care service. The transition from school to the new service was very difficult for Matt and it took him time  to adjust to the adult day care service.

Since joining the Abhainn service (Baldoyle) in October Matthew has been making huge strides in participating in and enjoying the normal daily activities that life has to offer. It’s not often you get to use the word exponential in a sentence but it’s true to say that Matthew’s world has widened exponentially from a very narrow base to begin with.

And so this is where the cyclists, support crew, drivers, outriders, medics, sponsors and all who contributed to the Trust, have made it happen, because without the funds raised we would not have been able to employ the services of Sinead, Al, Antoinette and Pauline, each one bringing Matt on to such an extent that he is now greatly equipped to take on the next part of his life.

As a family we have also benefitted greatly. Having the pressure taken off Lesa and myself around the caring of Matt has allowed us the nescessary time for the rest of our family. We have been very lucky that Sinead has actually moved within the St. Michaels Service and joined the Abhainn  service. Sinead is working directly with Matthew and has spearheaded the care and approach taken within the Abhainn service for him. Her experience with Matt for the year and four months before, aided by the Trust fund, has been absolutely incredible.

Other than the first few weeks of finding his feet, having been in a classroom setting in Kilbarrack for fourteen years, Matt has been brought to a level that was hard to see in his future. Taking into account the fact that Matt needed a room for himself away from his pals in the service, he has moved on in leaps and bounds. What started out as highly managed walks has moved on to the Phoenix Park to cycle, Donabate to do Horse riding, cinema trips, bowling, park walks, trips to the shops and even one to Grafton street around Christmas time, all with assistance of course, but free from a lot of the anxieties that hampered his progress in the past. We will be posting a few videos of Matt out and about to throw a bit of light on the results of all the hard work done by the likes of Al, Sinead, Antoinette and Pauline.

Regarding the cycle itself, we are again left in awe of all the people who gave of their time to make it happen, not least Liam and Paul, who have championed the Mighty Matthew Trust  cause for four years now.

Sponsors Hessions, Tyler Owen Architects, The Edge, European Recycling Platform,  Pigeon House, Aryzta, McHugh Kinsella, Eagle Air Conditioning, Marlowe Cleaners, The Pebble Beach, The Glass Centre, Mitsubishi Electric, Move Home Estate Agents, Molson Coors and Little Sport have been huge supporters of the Cycle and we thank you so much for your backing the Mighty Matthew Trust Cycle. Words can’t sum up what an example of goodness you are and have been.

The send off from Paul and staff at the Pigeon House Clontarf was incredible again this year only bettered by some decent weather this time and a cameo appearance from Matt himself with Sinead and Al in attendance. With some encouraging words from Damian O’Farrell to help us on our way, l can say myself, there’s no better feeling as we began the trip. Tinged of course by the fact that Damian had himself planned to do the cycle but came a cropper and injured his arm badly while out on a practice cycle.

Thankfully the cycle went very well again. The girls were absolutely brilliant again this year with nothing left for the cyclists to do but land, eat and get back on the bikes.
The countryside views were a joy again with the best saved for second last as we arrived into Mullaghmor with Ben Bulbin featuring in the background. The last leg over the hill was either the icing or the straw, depending on how you were feeling at that moment.

The last and most heartening cheers and whistles were great to hear. Many thanks to Paul for organising again, the Canadian Molsen Beer welcome we’ve become used to, and of course the fine Cuisine de France food laid on by Dermot Murphy. The Lily Murphy Prosecco Reception was a total surprise and was greatly appreciated by some very thirsty girls.

So many memories for Lesa and myself to take away from this event.
Many thanks to all who took part, with special thanks to Damien, James and Sinead for coming across the water. And where would we be and who would have known where we were or what we were doing without Leanne Hickey’s social media skills.
Thanks must again go to the Dunboyne Motor Club for keeping us moving and safe alongside our van drivers  Damien, Kevin, Joe and sub driver Colly with Robbie and Matthew leading the way with Noel again manning the rear sweeping up any problems that came his way, only to be undone by his own  motor. Thankfully the jeep righted itself eventually on the way back to Dublin . Thanks also to the Road Captains Matt and Paul and their unofficial assistant Eamonn for keeping tabs on us all.
Great efforts by all. So many it’s hard to thank you all. We were delighted to have Dave Ranson and Paul and Ian Deverry with us as we remembered the great times we shared with Orla on the previous cycles.

Lesa, myself and our family are grateful and will never take for granted all your efforts to raise funds for our son Matthew.
To end on a light note l’ll misquote a Taylor Swift lyric of all things.
“Look what you made Matt do”
Thanks again.
Kevin, Lesa, Alanah, Luke, Billy and Matthew.