A LIMERICK father, who has beautiful memories with his little girl while she was in the terminal stages of cancer, has taken on a fundraising challenge for the charity that made it possible.
Madison Stanley was just three years old when she passed away in April of this year.
While she was being treated in Crumlin Childrens’ Hospital in Dublin, the Aoibheann’s Pink Tie charity paid for Madison’s father, Shane, and mum, Rebecca, to stay in a hotel in Dublin instead of the family having to drive up and down from Limerick.
“In the first weeks of her treatment, Madison had to stay in hospital so one of us would stay with her every night while the other one tried to get some sleep. The charity paid for the rooms and made that possible,” Shane told the Limerick Post.
“But when she was on her second round of treatment, she was only in for a few hours every day. She was an extremely intelligent child and as soon at the car passed Birdhill, she knew she was going to hospital.
“Because the Aoibheann’s Pink Tie paid for the hotel rooms, we were able to make a kind of hotel break for her and do things like have pizza parties in the room after treatment, which she loved. It meant we could make those precious memories and it made the whole thing of treatment and having to travel up to Crumlin easier for her and for us.”
Shane’s long-time friend Sean Hynan came up with the idea that to honour Madison’s memory and to help the charity that offered such support to the family, they would cycle from the family home in Corbally to St John’s ward in Crumlin – a journey Madison undertook so many times in the last months of her life.
“This is really a case of couch to bike instantly,” said Shane. “I’d never been on a road bike in my life – my sport is power lifting. Neither of us had been on any kind of bike since we were teenagers.”
Helping the pair along their journey is Liam Kennedy, owner of The Hub bike shop in Limerick. “He has just been fantastic. He’s supplied us with the bikes and all the gear,” said Shane.
With less than four weeks training to prepare, the duo took to the road yesterday (Saturday). They had hoped originally to raise €2,000 but shortly after launching the appeal, they had raised €30,000.
“People are just so generous and supportive. We can’t believe it. This is an amazing charity and the only one supporting families with children who have cancer in that ward in Crumlin. We and so many other families are so grateful to them, for what they did for us, making memories with Madison that will last forever.”
Donations can be made to Shane’s campaign here