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Vet Elaine prepares to take part in trek through Andes

by NEIL GREENLEES

Elaine Patton with one of her four legged patients.

A LOCAL vet who normally devotes her time to the welfare of animals is currently preparing to take part in a 10 day trek through the rugged Andes to help humans battling cancer.

Elaine Patton who ha spent almost three years with the Ian Moore Practice in Dromore and Moira looking after both large and small animals will set off for South America in February along with her sister Jill McCann.

The two women were just small children when the disease claimed their father's life and they hope their participation in the Action Cancer trek will help more young parents faced with such a devastating diagnosis live to see their children grow up.

Elaine and Jill who come originally from Ballywalter on the Ards Peninsula will be two of 12 participants taking part in the Trek.

To qualify they have to raise sponsorship of at least 300C each for Action Cancer.

Elaine explained they had already worked together on fund raising projects and gave details of a major event which they hope will see them well on the way to their targets.

"A coffee morning and Marks & Spencer grocery bagpacking session have proved successful,' she said.

"However, our summer barbeque for Action Cancer at Cultra Manor in the Ulster Folk Museum is the key to reaching the 6000 target.

"Running from 7pm on Saturday, September 22 this charity event has two great goals raising a serious amount of money for Action Cancer and providing a serious amount of fun for all."

Elaine explained apart from a live band, dancing, good food and great company in the 'noble surroundings' of Cultra Manor guests will also enjoy a raffle and charity auction for which both bids and entries are welcome.

"Already friends, clients and indeed total strangers have been leaving in prizes and auction lots varying from signed rugby shirts to weekends away and a helicopter ride," she added.

Elaine said Vets tend to 'be on the go and keep pretty fit' and added she enjoyed walking in the Mournes.

"But this Action Cancer Trek Chile requires a very different level of fitness," she admitted. "'To roll out of a sleeping bag in a chilly dawn and keep walking eight to nine hours a day, every day, for 10 days is going to be tough. Especially carrying a rucksack feeling ever heavier as we get into the higher mountains where altitude sickness could be a problem."

Anyone wanting to support Elaine and Jill as they do their bit to help beat cancer can purchase barbeque tickets at 20 each or 190 per table of 10 from Dromore Veterinary Clinic telephone 07917 842061.

They promise a 'good value night out for a great cause'.

neil.greenlees@jpress.co.uk

Ulster Star
16/09/2007