The family of a young father with terminal cancer have thanked the public for their generosity after receiving over £30,000 in donations to help him fulfil his dying wish for his daughter.
Co Antrim dad Chris Irvine (30) was diagnosed with a rare liver cancer in 2019 and was told earlier this month by doctors he has just weeks to live.
Following the devastating news his sister Heather White (34) set up a GoFundMe page on February 5 to help pay off her brother's mortgage so the house can be left to his four-year-old daughter Naomi.
Setting a target of £40,000 to clear the mortgage Ms White said she never expected to raise anywhere near that amount of money with donations now over £32,000.
"It just started going up by about a grand every few hours, it's been crazy, we didn't expect it to take off like that," she said.
"It has helped his spirits as he'll now hopefully be able to achieve that target and leave the house to Naomi.
"He has been in a better place with the fundraising, just by being able to see how many people care and how many have commented and shared and so on.
"It's absolutely unbelievable just how many people care, it's amazing. When I started it I thought if he got a couple hundred pound to put towards it that would be a great help.
"It really is incredible, as people are donating I'm sitting every night trying to reply to everyone and thank them all. I would love to sit down and personally thank each and every person if I could.
Peace of mind
"I'm totally speechless, it's crazy.
"It means the world to him because he's not going to be able to see Naomi growing up so it gives him a wee bit of peace of mind if he's able to leave her something."
The tragedy comes after Heather and Chris lost their mum, Gillian Naomi Irvine, to cancer at the age of just 53 in 2018.
Chris is being treated at the same Macmillan Unit in the Antrim Area Hospital as his mother and Heather thanked staff for their efforts in caring for her family.
Heather added: "This is almost the exact same situation as with my mum, whenever she first got taken in it was to A&E in Antrim, as did he, and now he's in the same McMillan unit she was in. We had talked about it and wondered if he'd be in the same room as mummy. It's good to get him in but we're also reliving what happened to mum as well.
"The staff have been brilliant and they recognise my wee girl from when we were here with my mum and have been asking how she's getting on. I can't thank them enough."