Richael Timothy’s mother, Rosaleen, has watched her daughter face some difficult obstacles in the past so an appearance at the Paralympic Games will most likely be taken in her stride.
Following Richael’s diagnosis with Hereditary Hemorrhagic Telangiectasia (HHT), her world came crumbling down around her. Sport was all she knew, and the thoughts of switching from her beloved team sports to more individual pursuits was difficult to fathom.
“No I could never have imagined it, never! There was always a ball involved. It was difficult for her to make the transition into the cycling, especially in a rural area where there aren’t many individual sports,” Rosaleen told the Roscommon People on Tuesday.
“Richael never knew anything else so when she was diagnosed with the condition it was literally like her whole life was gone in a flash. She was doing Sports Science in college, which she finished eventually, but career-wise as well as a passion and participating, there was never anything else but sport,” she said.
So here we are, six years on from Richael’s diagnosis and the acquired brain injury following radio surgery, and she’s is preparing for the Paralympic Games in Tokyo this August.
Rosaleen says she has been “bowled over” by the outpouring of support and well wishes near and far.
“The support from Ballymoe and surrounding areas all around has been just unbelievable. You’d be bowled over by it! There are more and more signs going up every day and people have been so good.
“It’s also great that there has been such fantastic support for both Richael and Aoife. For two individual sports, it’s unusual but it’s great”.
Richael now heads off to Portugal for training camp next Monday before it’s on to Tokyo where, with the people of Ballymoe and Roscommon cheering her on, she’ll be far from alone in the saddle.