In celebrating his second chance at life, Castleisland man, Noel O’Connor pledged to help fund the work of the people who brought him back from the brink.
Noel lost a lung to cancer in 1999. Before he went under the knife he made a pact with his Maker that he would get actively involved in fund-raising for the rest of his life – literally.
Nodded His Approval
His Maker nodded His approval – as far as Noel is concerned and he has honoured his pledge ever since he got back on his feet.
A chronic nicotine addict from the age of 11, Noel estimates that he smoked well over 100 of the strongest cigarettes every waking moment of his week.
“I had the left lung burned out altogether as I was smoking about 120 Gold Flake and Sweet Afton every day of the week.
Light one off the Other
“I’d light one off the other all day and night long since I was about 11 years of age,” said Noel who quickly realises what an amazingly lucky survivor he is.
When his doctor asked him how many cigarettes he smoked each day – he couldn’t give him a straight answer.
“I can’t tell you that doctor,” said Noel. “But I can tell you how many matches I cracked every week.
“That’s impossible,” the doctor said to me and he sizing me up.
Seven Matches Per Week
“I cracked seven matches every week, doctor – and I lit one fag off the butt of another,” the farm worker told his horrified physician who was preparing him for the removal of one of his lungs at the time.
“I was given the choice of having the lung removed or going underground at that time. After I recovered I swore that if I got the chance to do something for the people who saved my life I’d do my best to raise funds for them.”
Noel is now the picture of good health and up to his oxters in organising and recruiting for the Castleisland Vintage Run – an annual event since 2012.
Blue in the Face
He’s also ‘Blue in the face’ from trying to get youngsters he comes into contact with to give up or stay away from fags altogether.
The 2017 run will start at The Half Way Bar in Ballymacelligott on Sunday, June 18th at 1pm. With registrations beginning at 12:15pm with a €10 per vehicle entry fee.
The convoy will travel through Farranfore, Currow and Castleisland and back to the Half Way Bar to finish.
The run is in aid of the Kerry Cancer Support Group’s Kerry / Cork Health Link Bus – a charity Noel thinks very highly of for the service it provides to people whose needs he understands very well. For more information contact: Noel on: 087 33 01 079 or Frank on: 087 28 92 758 or: 066 71 95 560.
Watch a film clip of Noel O’Connor setting out his vintage run stall for the 2014 run: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wnYgN_XsMUA
You can contact The Maine Valley Post on… Anyone in The Maine Valley Post catchment area who would like to send us news and captioned photographs for inclusion can send them to: email@example.com Queries about advertising and any other matters regarding The Maine Valley Post can also be sent to that address or just ring: 087 23 59 467. Please Note: A click on any of our adverts will reveal all you need to know about what our advertisers need to tell you.
Copyright Notice: The images and text which appear on The Maine Valley Post site remain the exclusive property of John Reidy (087 23 59 467) and are protected under International Copyright laws. Images or text may not be reproduced, copied, transmitted or manipulated without the written permission of the author, John Reidy, in this instance. Use of any image as the basis for another photographic concept or illustration (digital, artist rendering or alike) is a violation of International Copyright laws. All images are copyrighted © by John Reidy 2017