Friends and family of a Derry man who passed away last October have granted his final wish by raising thousands of pounds for charity.
Kenneth ‘Middy’ Dougherty, tragically passed away at the end of last year after a short battle with lung cancer.
Before he passed away he expressed his wish for a charity fundraiser.
His wife Catherine said the event hosted by The Belfray Inn on what would been Kenneth’s 53rd birthday “could turn his death into something positive.”
Catherine was speaking to the ‘Journal’ on the couple’s wedding anniversay last week.
“We were delighted to be able to raise money for Macmillan. They were first to help us after Middy’s diagnosis,” she said.
“Middy really wanted to help them help others. It was especially important to him to help others in Derry and the North West.”
“Middy and I were always doing something for charity. We walked the Belfast Marathon for Macmillan in eight and a half hours and walked from Limavady to Derry for the Meningitis Trust. Members of the Dougherty family will also be taking part in the Action Cancer moonlight walk for the Action Cancer Bus.”
The ‘Wild West’ themed family fundraiser, in memory of Middy, raised a total of £3,081.
“I’m just trying to carry out his last wishes,” said his widow and mother of two Catherine.
“This was actually his idea, his exact words were; ‘I want a big night for cancer.’ The reason was because one of his best friends had also just been diagnosed with cancer. Middy’s other request was he wanted the money kept in the North West.”
‘Middy’ grew up in a family of seven in Bonds Street and was employed at Crawford’s Bakery. He met Catherine in 1977, he was 16 and she was 15 years old. They married four years later and had two children, Stephanie and Kenneth.
Catherine said her husband had a very strong faith which undoubtedly comforted him as what would be any family’s nightmare, unfolded over Christmas in 2011.
“He was diagnosed with lung cancer three days before Christmas 2011. He was rushed to Belfast where he received intense radio and chemotherapy and he had ten reasonably good months. We went everywhere in those last months.
“Middy was very brave. He never complained. He didn’t want anyone to take pity. He didn’t want anybody crying. He wanted normality so I wanted to give him normality,” said Catherine.
As well as vowing to transform ‘Middy’s’ death into something positive, Catherine said she also wanted to encourage people concerned with any symptoms, however innocuous, to go and see a doctor.
“The only thing Middy had was a persistent cough and a tiredness, he just put it down to working nights. Middy never was one to go to the doctor.
“I would really like to thank all those who either attended the fundraiser or all those people and businesses who supported it. Our friends, old and new have just been so, so supportive. I, we, couldn’t possibly thank them enough.”
Catherine thanked Spangles, Hudson and Blue, Sharon Nixon, Same 4 Boys and the Little Dollar and Dime line dancers for providing the entertainment on the evening.