When Julie Tredrea and Lucinda Henry initially approached Foyle Hospice about fundraising they worried they might not hit their target.
However, this week, three months after they came up with the idea of having their heads shaved, they handed over a cheque for more than £10,000 to the Hospice.
“We hoped for £1,000 at the start, but this is amazing,” said Julie.
The inspiration for the fundraising was Julie’s sister, Nicky.
Nicky was diagnosed with stomach cancer in December 2013 and underwent gruelling surgery in May 2014 to have her stomach removed.
After treatment, and a period of time in Altnagelvin, Nicky was admitted to Foyle Hospice.
She spent her last six days in the Hospice and passed away on November 3 last year.
Nicky was only 41 years old.
Devastated by the death of her beautiful and always smiling sister, Julie and Nicky’s close friend Lucinda Henry, were determined to help the Hospice.
They saw first hand what the Hospice does, not only for patients, but for their loved ones as well.
Julie had told Nicky during her final days about her plans to have her hair cut off for the Little Princess Trust while, at the same time, raise funds for Foyle Hospice.
“We just can’t believe the support we have received from the people of Limavady, and from our families. We raised £10,790.18,” said Julie.
The Limavady woman is getting used to her shorter do, and says it cuts down greatly on time getting ready in the mornings.
“I think Nicky would be watching and laughing and saying ‘well done girls’,” said Julie.
Julie says her sister, who was a hairdresser, might not be so keen on the new hairdo.
“She’d say ‘let that grow back again’,” laughed Julie.
Nicky’s good friend, Lucinda, said she is overwhelmed at how local people and businesses have supported them. They have since raised a further £2,000.
“It’s just amazing how the town has pulled together for such a good cause,” said Lucinda. “I’ve had family members in the Hospice and you never know who will be next. We want to thank the businesses and people of Limavady, and Limavady Rangers Supporters Club for donating and for allowing us to hold the event here.”
Asked if she will keep the short hair, Lucinda joked: “Everyone says I look younger so, it’s staying!”
Foyle Hospice community fundraiser, Michelle McGinn said the amount of money raised is “absolutely fantastic”.
“It’s phenomenal, so brilliant and heartwarming to see the amount of support they received. They girls really soldiered on and focused on fundraising, and we are very grateful to the girls and their families and friends,” said Michelle, who said it takes £3 million to run the Hospice every year.
“This money goes directly towards patient care and it will also help the families of patients in the Hospice. We have a Healing Hearts counselling service to help young children. We’re finding more and more of our patients are younger, like Nicky who was 41 years of age and leaving young families behind.”
Michelle said the Hospice couldn’t survive without supporters such as Julie and Lucinda.
“We knew the girls would get amazing support, but this is brilliant, and it’s a fantastic legacy that Nicky has left behind too. It’s great for the girls to see the support and love that Nicky generated in this town. Anyone you talk to, and who knew her, loved her and loved this idea, so we are very grateful,” added Michelle.
Nicky’s husband, Keith, paid tribute to Julie and Lucinda for their hard work.
“I want to say thanks to Julie and Lucinda and to everyone who helped out. There were a lot of local businesses that donated prizes too.”
Keith also thanked hairdressers, John Johnston and Paula Robson.
“Nicky started hairdressing with Paula when she was starting out,” he said.
“We want to say ‘thank you’ to the whole community. It shows how popular Nicky was and how many good friends she had. She would be delighted, and it’s what she would have wanted.”