Dad in charity ‘flight of hope’ for daughter

Raphael O'Carroll of Kernan Aviation and his daughter Christine. INPT12-030
Raphael O'Carroll of Kernan Aviation and his daughter Christine. INPT12-030
  • Three charities to benefit
  • Donate online or in person
  • Eight aircraft to take part

A Tandragee man whose daughter is fighting a brain tumour has organised a plane journey around the coast of Ireland to raise money for cancer charities.

Raphael O’Carroll, who owns Kernan Aviation on the Mullahead Road, has watched 29-year-old Christine battle a tumour for the past two years.

Cancer touches most families at some time in their lives

Christine, a pharmacist, was diagnosed in March 2013 and underwent an urgent operation to remove the growth, followed by radiotherapy and chemotherapy.

According to her father, she “continues to fight this devastating disease, with every day bringing its own challenges”.

Said Raphael, “We live from scan to scan. I am hoping Christine will be able to fly part of the route with me, but she is undergoing another course of chemotherapy at the moment so it depends on how she is feeling on the day.”

The Flight of Hope will take place over the Easter weekend, from April 3-6, with money raised going to the Brain Tumour Charity, Marie Curie and the Irish Cancer Society.

Raphael is being supported by members of Kernan Valley Flying Club and the group intends to fly eight planes around the coast of Ireland (weather permitting).

They are hoping to be joined by as many aircraft and crews as possible from airfields along the route.

The journey of almost 1,000 miles will start at Newcastle and follow the coast clockwise round Ireland, stopping at airfields along the way (the route and full updates will be posted on Kernan Aviation’s Facebook page).

At each of their destinations, they will be accepting donations, offering flights to carers and sufferers of the disease and raising awareness of the increase in cancer in UK and Ireland.

Meanwhile, Raphael’s wife Betty will be driving the route in a support vehicle along with other club members.

Said Raphael, “Cancer touches most families at some time in their lives. The Brain Tumour Charity funds pioneering research into better ways to earlier diagnose and treat brain tumours and have given fantastic support to our family as they do for so many others.”

Donations can be made through Justgiving directly (, via Kernan Aviation Facebook page ( or the website (

Donations may also be given to pilots and crew of Kernan Valley Flying Club.

If you live in the UK you can also text your donation by phoning 70070. To donate £5 text KVFC56 £5, to donate £10 text KVFC56 £10 or to donate £50 text KVFC56 £50.