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Mum’s cancer care was so good that it inspired me to be a fundraiser, says Aoife

By Donna Deeney

Published 12/10/2015

Aoife Whoriskey from Derry who has raised thousands of pounds along with her colleagues at Marks and Spencer's in Foyleside. Picture Martin McKeown/Inpresspics
Aoife Whoriskey from Derry who has raised thousands of pounds along with her colleagues at Marks and Spencer's in Foyleside. Picture Martin McKeown/Inpresspics

A young woman has paid tribute to the cancer carers who ensured her dying mother was able to spend her final days surrounded by family at home.

Aoife Whoriskey was just 26 when her mother was diagnosed with fatal lung cancer and this was when she was given a real insight into a world that is all too familiar to families across Northern Ireland.

Sadly, Aoife’s mother Geraldine lost her battle against cancer two year after her diagnosis.

But since then, in grateful appreciation of organisations like Action Cancer, Marie Curie Nurses and the Foyle Hospice in Londonderry, Aoife has raised thousands of pounds along with her colleagues at Marks & Spencer in Foyleside.

Not least among all the contribution was an incredible £8,000 which the Derry staff collected for Action Cancer over July and August this year.

Speaking to the North West Telegraph, Aoife said: “My mother Geraldine really, really did not want to die in a hospital or the hospice and the staff at the hospice made sure she got her dying wish.

“They went well beyond that too and helped my mother to live the life she wanted for as long as was possible.

“My mother’s nephew is Gerard Diver, the SDLP councillor and he was being made mayor of Derry and my mother was determined to go, even though the treatment she was getting totally immobilised her.

“The cancer nurses looking after mammy reassured us that they would go with her, take pain relief with them and make sure she got to see Gerard’s inauguration as Mayor.

“On that morning, mammy realised herself she wasn’t fit, but it meant so much to us that they were prepared to pull out all the stops for her.

Aoife’s mother Geraldine lost her battle against cancer two year after her diagnosis
Aoife’s mother Geraldine lost her battle against cancer two year after her diagnosis

“When you come up face to face with that kind of care it makes you want to give something back, and it’s not always about raising money, giving your time can make a real difference too.

“I was so pleased to be involved with this latest fundraising campaign with the people I work with in Marks & Spencer’s, it was a great amount of money and a real joint effort.”

Aoife paid a warm tribute to the carers who helped her mum in her last days.

“I think it is only when you come up close to cancer that you get a real insight about the care and help and amazing work that is done by charities like Action Cancer, Marie Curie Nurses and the Foyle Hospice,” she said.

“In the past I would have thrown a few coins into a collection and walked on, but since my mother was diagnosed I know how amazing these organisations are and any chance I get I try and do something in memory of mammy.”

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