A PILOT based at Royal Air Force Leeming tackled a charity walk in tough conditions to raise more than £15,000 for those who helped him back to flying fitness against the odds.
Wing Commander Fin Monahan, who is Officer Commanding Operations Wing at the North Yorkshire station, wrapped up warm to take on Hadrian’s Wall with some RAF colleagues just three years after his whole world changed with the diagnosis of the blood cancer multiple myeloma.
At the time, the Harrier pilot – who received the Distinguished Flying Cross for his bravery and skill in supporting Australian Special Forces in Afghanistan in 2006 – was at Staff College in India.
When Multiple Myeloma was diagnosed, Fin was quickly referred to the Royal Marsden Hospital and underwent often-arduous treatment that finally saw him fit to return to Hawk flying in Hawk flying in 2011, something he was told he would never do again.
With the cancer in full remission Fin, who has three children with his wife Jane, wanted to complete a challenge showing how far he has come and to thank those who helped him back to health.
Along with some aircrew colleagues, in December he embarked on the 84-mile walk along Hadrian’s Wall.
He said: “We had quite difficult weather including snow and it was tougher than we had expected because of that, and we were carrying packs the whole time. It was also very, very cold!”
But the tough challenge was well worth the cold and wet, with generous donations topping £15,000 at the last count, with money to be split between The Willow Foundation, Myeloma UK and The Royal Marsden Cancer Charity.
Fin said: “It is now time to give something back to three charities which I witnessed doing some amazing work. There was never any chance that we wouldn’t finish, and there’s talk of doing Everest base camp next time!”
Donations can still be made at: http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/team/wallwalkers5