A YOUNG boy with a massive heart, Oscar O’Sheehan, has embarked on the final stage of a mammoth journey to raise funds for a wonderful cause.
THE 11-year-old from Denia on the Costa Blanca is walking the Camino de Santiago – more than 300 kilometres – with ever-supportive mum Niamh, to raise as much cash as possible for a sensory garden at the La Xara Occupational and Day Care Centre.
“Two years ago, when Oscar was nine-years-old, he asked if I would take him on a journey. He asked if he could walk the Camino Santiago,” said Niamh, adding: “That’s not just like going for any old walk, it’s a pilgrimage!”
In October 2018 and October 2019 determined Oscar covered 470 km of his incredible challenge. The plan was that in October 2020 Oscar would tackle the final 300-plus kilometres of the camino from Leon to Santiago de Compostela.
“However, as we all know, 2020 hasn’t quite gone to plan,” explained mum-of-three Niamh, a well-known singer on the Costa Blanca.
To avoid Oscar missing more school after months of lockdown, mum and son hatched “a crazier plan”.
Oscar will walk his final 300 km of the Camino Santiago through the tricky tracks and trails of Galicia in the very early mornings of August, having started his trek on Friday, August 14.
Niamh said today: “Oscar’s fundraiser has been incredible. Truly heartwarming. We really can’t thank you all enough. And donations continue to fly in. It’s not too late. But, right now, the focus of our mum/son duo must be to simply walk.
“To cover 300 km in less than two weeks. To keep each other positive and to take time to bond further and deeply appreciate our surroundings.”
Previously Oscar campaigned for sponsorship when he set himself the challenge two years ago, and with the help of the local community and generous friends of the family, he was able to buy a much needed electric hoist for the local La Pedrera rehabilitation centre AND he also scraped together the money to donate a new pair of trainers for all 60-plus residents at the men’s shelter in Gandia.
And having recently visited the Occupational & Day Care centre in La Xara and seeing first-hand the “vitality and importance of this place”, Oscar instantly decided that if he could raise a bit of money from his walk, then this was where he’d like to direct it.
“He loved the happy vibe and walked away so certain that they deserve ALL our support,” said Niamh.
Oscar asked Director of the Centre, Ana, “how can I help?” and she explained that they often dream about installing a sensory garden adapted for special needs.
With a budget tighter than ever, practical priorities come first, but Oscar is determined to help – and you can too.
“There’s been so much negativity recently. It’s time to take back the joy and the sharing and the caring that a community’s unity can create, said Niamh urging the public “from your heart” to help make the project a success.
And it’s not just cash donations that can help make the sensory garden a reality.
“We also need materials, so if there are any tradespeople or businesses that can help in any way, we would love to hear from you.”
You can help Oscar realise his dream by donating at www.helpofdenia.com
Alternatively, contact Niamh O’Sheehan on 676 507 791.