Cancer victim Kevin Carey's family: 'Thanks for helping us when we needed you the most'
Family urge people to dress brightly for funeral
The family of a Northern Ireland man whose courageous brain tumour battle touched the hearts of the nation has thanked the thousands of people who supported them "when we needed you the most".
Kevin Carey (35), from Portglenone, first fell ill on a trip to Portstewart in July 2015 with his wife Natasha when he suffered a number of seizures.
A brain scan identified glioblastoma, an aggressive terminal brain tumour for which Kevin has already undergone surgery, radiotherapy and chemotherapy.
He was given just three months to live, but battled on against the odds to try and beat the diagnosis.
A campaign was set up to raise money for pioneering immunotherapy treatment and raised more than £235,000 in just 13 days.
Treatment began in August and appeared to be going well but a post on his fundraising page at the weekend said the treatment had stopped working.
Just days later the heartbroken family posted the devastating news that their "beautiful gladiator has been set free".
On Friday the brave family said people have been queuing at their door and they "couldn't be prouder of Kevin". They urged people coming to the celebration of his life service on Saturday to dress brightly.
His wife Natasha said: "Thank you all for coming to Kevin's wake, people are queuing out our door and I couldn't be prouder of Kevin. He has touched so many hearts. Thank you also for leaving such beautiful comments.
"Kevin's family, my family and I have received so much strength from all of you, and we are so grateful. Kevin is the sweetest soul, and we will never understand why this had to come into his innocent life, but he is free now and he wouldn't want us to cry and be upset, he only ever thought of other people."
Posting on their Facebook page Natasha said she would love to see as many as possible at Kevin's life celebration on Saturday.
She said: "I want tomorrow to be a real celebration of Kevin's life, he lived it to the fullest, a beautiful character whose greatest love was just to help people.
"For those of you joining us tomorrow, don't feel you need to wear black, please feel free to wear something colourful and bright, it would mean the world to Kevin and I.
"Thank you all, for helping us, when we needed you the most."
Kevin's remains will leave his home at 21a Crawfordstown Road on Saturday May 6 at 11.15am. A mass celebrating his life will be held in St Oliver Plunket's Church, Clady, at 12pm, with burial immediately afterwards in Aughnahoy cemetery, Portglenone.