Generous young Carn man raises €4,500 for school autism unit
A generous young Carn man has just completed a gruelling physical challenge to raise funds for an autism unit in a local school.
Matthew Cavanagh donated €4,488 to the ASD class at Scoil Iosagain after successfully completing a 4-4-48 challenge by running four miles every four hours over a 48-hour period.
The 22-year-old says he opted to aid the Buncrana primary school because it’s a “cause that’s close to my own heart”.
“I chose the ASD class because my godson Caolan is in the class there, having been diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder.”
Having just completed a degree in psychology at the University of Ulster, Matthew is now going on to study for a masters in health psychology at the same college.
“This is something I’ve learned a bit about and have a keen interest in. It was a fundraiser that was close to my own heart and I know they do require funding.”
“The staff at Scoil Iosagain were delighted with the donation and I’m sure they’ll put it to good use now,” he said.
As for the 4-4-48 challenge and running a total of 48 miles over two days? Matthew says he wanted to push himself to the limits after recently becoming a keen runner.
“I chose to do that challenge in particular because it’s a real physical test. I have taken an interest in running during the lockdown and thought I’d give it a go, why not?”
“It was very difficult. It was a lot to do over and over again. The toughest run was probably the 4am run on the final day. By that time I had muscle soreness and joint pain was taking its toll too.”
“I was trying to get a couple hours of sleep in between each of the last few runs. But it got to the point where getting out of bed was almost more difficult than the runs themselves!”
Matthew is a member of Paul McGowan’s gym in Moville and he completed many of his daytime runs towards Greencastle and back, while the nightshifts took him around his native Carn during the early hours.
He paid tribute to everyone who generously donated time and money to the cause.
“I had no end of support along the way. You name it: members from the gym or representatives from local businesses, I had cousins help me, while my parents did a couple of runs with me too.”
“The support was absolutely phenomenal,” he added.