The hard trek around the Ring of Kerry by cyclists on Saturday was worth every second when they returned to the Gleneagle Hotel on Saturday evening - and waiting for them was the man who it was all in honour of Gene Tangney.
Having spent four months in University Hospital Kerry fighting COVID-19, Gene finally got to return home on Friday evening, much to the pleasant surprise of his family, and just hours before a cycle to raise funds for the ICU Unit that cared for him.
And despite the difficult road ahead, Gene managed to come and meet the team of cyclists who took on the Ring challenge to says thanks to Unversity Hospital Kerry for his care.
Though the Ring of Kerry cycle was cancelled this year in light of the global pandemic, Denis Geaney and his team decided to take on the Ring to raise funds for University Hospital Kerry to say thanks for the wonderful care shown to Gene during his long stay and difficult battle against the horrific virus.
Denis has been taking part in the cycle for its entire history and was thrilled to get on the road again for a very worthy cause. By all accounts it was a Ring of Kerry cycle that won't be forgotten with more singing than cycling, and lively music at popular spots on route. But of course there was plenty to be happy about both for the cyclists and the Tangney family, with the return home of Gene to the bosom of his family.
"The HSE and Government restrictions due to COVID-19 pandemic didn't deter our team and the amazing Tangney family of raising money and lifting people's spirits," Denis said.
For Gene this was so important, and having received the wonderful news on Saturday morning that Gene was home, there were so many reasons to sing and dance our way around the Ring of Kerry," he added.
Fundraising has reached almost €21,000, and the Tangney family are very grateful for the wonderful donations, and for the ICU unit for the care they gave Gene during his 16-week hospital stay.
"Gene was blessed that he had the team at UHK beside him. They are amazing people over at the hospital. They will never just how much it means to us what they did for Gene and for us," said Susan Tangney.
To donate to the cause, the GoFundMe page is https://gf.me/u/ygcrtc