A former Co
Derry Gaelic footballer who survived a deadly form of cancer has launched a
fundraising drive in memory of his sister-in-law who died suddenly of a rare
was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma in April 2004 just months after
helping his then football club,. the Loup, win their first Ulster senior
gruelling round of chemotherapy the 36-year-old was give the all clear a
joy and relief turned to despair just weeks later when his sister-in-law
Marcella Doherty died suddenly while on a weekend away in Co Donegal with
24-year-old, a daughter of former Derry footballer Peter Doherty, was later
found to have died from a rare heart condition known as arrhythmogenic right
ventricular cardiomyopathy or ARVC - a condition similar to the one that
claimed the life of former Tyrone captain Cormac McAnallen in March 2004.
father-of-three, Rocks has launched a campaign to raise £20,000 for Marie
Curie Cancer Care and heart charity Cardiac Risk in the Young (CRY).
He hopes to
raise the cash by organising a relay race around his adored home town of
Bellaghy, Co Derry, on Sunday October 15.
had cancer and you just keep going but it was important for us to include
CRY in the fundraising," he said.
my wife Rhonda were sisters and it's very important to the family that we
make people aware of the importance of being screened.
a great character. I never had any sister but she was a sister to me."
Rhonda said she hoped other families would avoid the pain suffered by the
loss of her younger sister.
mother Brigid said it was "vital to raise awareness" of potentially deadly
heart condition in young people.
to sign up 40 groups of five people to take part in 3km legs of the relay
everyone to get involved, he said.
have to be from a GAA club - you could be from any sporting group or must be
a nice group of friends who would like to walk he rout.
information or to pledge your support you can contact Rocks on 0787 5400 839
or email him at