Nine year-old Matthew Magee was the toast of Dublin recently having handed over cheques to the tune of E3,600 to Our Lady’s Hospital, Crumlin and Beaumont Hospital Dublin.
The money, which was divided equally between the hospitals was raised during a charity night at the Greenbank Hall, Quigley’s Point.
Matthew had wanted to show his gratitude to the hospitals for how they treated him.
Dublin Lord Mayor, Councillor Andrew Montague attended the cheque presentation to thank the youngster and his family in person for their efforts. Matthew was treated in both facilities having been diagnosed with a brain tumour two years ago.
Half of the tumour was removed by surgery 12 months ago while the other half has successfully shrunk and Matthew is still under the observation and treatment of his medical team.
The big-hearted youngster lost his sight in one eye and has only tunnel vision in the other.
Matthew is the eldest of four children who also include Bethany, 8, Philip, 4 and Jessie 2.
According to his grandfather, Whitecastle man Albert Doherty, who helped organise the fundraiser: “He never complains about it. He just gets on with it. The best thing about the evening was that he was able to get up and sing two songs in order to thank the crowd. So many people came out to support us it was fantastic.”
Albert is an avid charity worker and undertakes an annual sponsored row of the River Foyle from Derry to Greencastle for Self Help: Africa. This cause however proved a little closer to his heart.
“It has been a tough time on him and his mother but the hospitals looked after them so well, they were given first class treatment so we wanted to do something to thank them.”
Matthew’s treatment is ongoing. The Raphoe Central National School pupil enjoys going to the Boys’ Brigade and playing basketball and football with the special Olympic squad. “The school give him lots of help and he has a machine which helps him magnify homework so he can read it. He never complains and even when he trips over, he gets up and carries on,” said Albert.
The annual sponsored row of the River Foyle in aid of the Foyle Hospice has been scheduled for September 3. It is the sixth annual row and a flotilla of rowers and sail boats from across Ireland will join Albert and his rowing companion Willie Harrigan on the four hour row.