Roche is busily preparing for the Tour de France this summer but has made time to support Make-A-Wish, for whom he is an ambassador. He said, “I am delighted to get behind this initiative which combines two of my passions, getting the public involved in cycling, and helping bring some joy to seriously ill children and their families.”
Over the past 15 months, Make-A-Wish Ireland has experienced significant disruption to both their fundraising activities, and their ability to grant wishes. However, with the support of partners, volunteers, and the general public, they have been able to continue to safely bring hope, strength and joy to seriously ill children across Ireland. Despite the necessary lockdowns and restrictions, last year they granted 56 wishes to children across the country who are living with life-threatening illnesses such as cancer, cystic fibrosis and heart conditions. These wishes ranged from having a garden play tower, to virtually meeting a favourite celebrity, to having a gaming laptop.
One of those children who had their wish granted last year was 10-year-old Kate from Co Clare who wished for an e-bike and trailer!
Kate's Mum Linda told us, "Kate absolutely loves her new trailer, and the e-bike for her Dad has made pulling her along at speed no problem - the faster the better! Hail, rain or snow, we will get out and about.
But the wish is not only for Kate. So many times the other members of the family have asked to go for a family cycle, but we were not able to make that spur-of-the-moment choice as Kate could not come, so we could only go if it was pre-arranged with care assistance or grandparents.
The simple everyday option that most people take for granted is now possible for our family and for this, we are so grateful. We are already planning our trip west, to cycle the Greenway - something we have been putting off as we were not quite ready to go without Kate. Now we won’t have to!"
The charity is currently working towards granting the wishes of over 200 seriously ill children. These children are at various points along the journey to having their wish granted; from application, through working with Make-A-Wish volunteers to identify what their wish will be, to simply waiting for Make-A-Wish to work their magic.
As Make-A-Wish does not receive any government funding, they are asking the public to donate to help ensure these wishes come true.
Those wishing to get involved in Wheels for Wishes can sign up now at www.makeawish.ie.