When Melonie Toland stands at the top of Shipquay Street on Saturday 5th September she’ll have her mum Lillian O’Donnell firmly in her mind.
Because this year marks the tenth anniversary of her mum’s death, and to help look back and celebrate her life, Melonie will be taking part in Slide On.
She said, “Every year we try and raise some money in memory of mum, and to slide down Shipquay Street seems such a fun way to do it. She’ll be looking down and laughing along with us.
“Also, because the age limit is now 12 both my son Conall and daughter Eimear will be joining in with me. They can’t wait. Last year mum’s two sisters, Martina and Ceceila took part so it’s turning into a yearly family event too.”
One of Melonie’s children is only six so he won’t be taking part, and he’s the only one of Melonie’s children that her mummy didn’t meet. “I put off having a third child because I couldn’t bear the idea of mummy not meeting him, but her death proved that life is too short.”
Lillian passed away in March 2005. In the summer of 2004 she was told she had kidney cancer. It was treated successfully but in February 2005 she had a sore back and went to get it checked. Unfortunately the cancer was back and she died on 30th March.
Melonie said, “She was just 52 and we miss her every day. Research has come on so much in recent years and I would like to think if she was sick today more could be done for her. That’s why we support Cancer Research UK.”
Anyone wishing to register for Slide On can go online to www.cruk.org/SlideOnDerry or visit the information booth which will be in the Richmond Shopping Centre every Saturday in August from 11am-4pm.