A LIMERICK MAN who has lost eight relatives to cancer has raised a massive €137,920 for cancer support services.
Michael Quinlivan (67) from Thomondgate has been fundraising for the Irish Cancer Society for the last 29 years.
Last week, he presented his latest cheque to the Irish Cancer Society for €9,420, the proceeds of the Daffodil Day fundraiser and his largest year’s collection so far.
And he has good reason to be aware of the pain, loss and suffering caused by the disease having lost his dad, his brother, his uncle and five cousins to cancer.
“There is not one person you speak to who hasn’t been touched by this in some way,” he told the Limerick Post.
One person so affected is his sister-in-law ‘Dollie” Quinlivan whose husband died from cancer.
Michael sells daffodils and Society merchandise in the Milk Market on four Saturdays in March to coincide with Daffodil Day.
“After her husband died, Dollie went and sat her driving test at 72 years of age and passed it. She drives down to give me a break at the Milk Market and drives me home afterwards with any unsold merchandise,” Michael explained.
Michael began his fundraising by selling daffodils in the Revenue Commissioners office where he worked. He was also selling merchandise and that went down well.
“People wanted to do more than just buy a flower, so I brought in things like mugs and keyrings and trolley discs. It meant people had something they could use for the money they gave”.
And now that the Revenue service has been decentralised, his former colleagues have branched out and they are now selling daffodils and merchandise for his fundraising efforts.
From in-house sales, Michael moved on to selling his flowers at Colbert train station.
“I go up around 5.30am to catch the early commuters,” he explained. The €8,500 he raised this year would have been even more if Daffodil day hadn’t coincided with the Irish Rail day of industrial action.
“This money helps people with cancer to stay in their own homes with home nursing and night nursing. That mean’s a lot to someone with cancer and their families,” he told the Limerick Post.