Last year when Derry woman Eibhlin Cassidy finished taking part in the Foyle Hospice Female Walk, she went straight to the in-patient unit to celebrate with her mum Màire.
The pair posed for a photograph outside with proud as punch Màire, battling serious illness, delighted to still be part of an event that had come to mean so much to her over the years. It was a moment that Eibhlin Cassidy now treasures.
In October her mum, Màire, a woman who was loved across the city, passed away.
She died in the place that had become so special to her over the years; a place for which she had raised thousands of pounds; a place she never realised she would one day require.
“Mammy fell out with me last year because she wanted me to wheel her around for the hospice walk,” said Eibhlin. “She wanted to be a part of it. I was just looking through my old pictures and it has been six years since mammy did a skydive for the Foyle Hospice. She did it with my brother Tom.
“That’s the way she was, she would have done anything to raise money for the Foyle Hospice. She has a great spirit and was so positive. She never thought about herself, it was always about other people.”
“So I brought to her grave. The best place for my medal, without my mum I wouldn’t be me.”Eibhlin Cassidy.
Màire’s death has left a huge hole in the Cassidy family’s life, but Eibhlin, her dad Tom and her brother Tom are determined to keep her legacy alive.
“We all took part in a swimathon recently,” said Eibhlin. “But it hit me when I got my medal. I thought of how in 2013 my mammy and I did the Foyle Hospice Walk together when she wore the Number One. Then how last year I went to the hospice to show her my medal. But here I was with my swimathon medal. So I brought it to her grave. The best place for my medal, without my mum I wouldn’t be me.”
Eibhlin said the Foyle Hospice has given so much to the family, not just in their care of Màire.
“They did as much for me, my dad and Tom,”she noted. “They were so honest and answered any questions we had. The staff were amazing, always with smiling faces looking after her and brushing her hair.”
This year Eibhlin and a group of friends will run the 5k in memory of Maire.
“Mammy would be telling everybody to come out and support the Foyle Hospice,” continued Eibhlin. “If you can’t, then sponsor us.”
The annual Foyle Hospice Walk/Run takes place on June 12. Online registrations are open at www.foylehospice.com or by contacting the Foyle Hospice on (028)71359888.