DEREK, Gary, and Brendan Allen stop for a photo while doing the Camino last September. SOURCE: Gary Allen Camino Facebook

Gary’s star trek

Turloughmore wheelchair user Gary Allen crosses Camino de Santiago

GARY Allen likes a challenge. He recently started working as a life coach from his home in Turloughmore, changing career paths in the process having been in software development for 28 years.

The Roscommon native was born with spina bifida. Despite being a wheelchair user, Gary has been a member of the Galway Bay Sailing Club for some years and completed one of the routes of the Camino de Santiago in Northern Spain last September with his two younger brothers, Derek and Brendan.

Gary and his wife Linda also have five dogs to look after for good measure – three pugs, a chihuahua, and a Jack Russell/sausage cross – and three cats.

“I do love a challenge. I’m not afraid to ask for support. There’s no way on earth we can do everything on our own,” said Gary. “With support, you can do anything.”

Spina bifida is a birth defect that occurs when the spine and spinal cord are not formed properly. The ailment was never an issue for Gary, or for anybody else around him growing up in Four Mile House in County Roscommon.

“I had callipers and crutches up until I was 12 or 13. My body was growing normally, but my legs were not able to keep up,” explained Gary…

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