| 23°C Belfast

Lucky Derry couple count their blessings with gift to charity


Ivan and Lily Gillespie

Ivan and Lily Gillespie

Ivan and Lily Gillespie

An elderly couple from Londonderry who survived coronavirus and cancer between them have been praised for donating money to Christian Aid following their recoveries.

Ivan (79) and Lily Gillespie (78), from the Waterside area of Derry, made a donation to Christian Aid Ireland after their respective recoveries from the two deadly diseases.

Lily continues to recover after testing positive for coronavirus in April while Ivan has recently been given the all-clear following surgery and treatment for a neck tumour.

The couple, who celebrated their golden wedding anniversary in September 2018, are members of All Saints Clooney Church of Ireland in the Waterside.

Explaining why he and his wife of over 50 years made the donation, Ivan said: "We have supported Christian Aid all our lives.

"Lily and I are very blessed to have our children and grandchildren, and to have recovered from cancer and coronavirus.

"I fear for the people in poor countries who don't have good hospitals, welfare benefits or furlough schemes."

His beloved wife Lily has dementia and lives in a care home but Ivan has been visiting her three times a week and during lockdown the pair have been able to chat through a window at the home.

Christian Aid Ireland Chief Executive Rosamond Bennett praised the couple's generosity.

She said:"Ivan and Lily have made a donation to help the world's poorest people at a time when they could be forgiven for thinking only of themselves.

"They are typical of thousands of other Christian Aid supporters - giving generously to improve the lives of people living in poverty, despite enduring difficulties in their own lives."

Belfast Telegraph