27 Days of Kindness event raises €20,000 for hospice

By Maurice Garvey

THE loss of a brother to a brain tumour two years ago, led his sister to start a fundraiser that has raised over €20k for Our Lady’s Hospice, Harold’s Cross.

Clondalkin resident Wesley Keating (27) passed away on December 10, 2018, at Our Lady’s Hospice.

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Faith Kelly, Serena Keating, Phil Coleman, Thomas Keating and Coby Kelly at the presentation of a cheque for the hospice

He had been living with a brain tumour from the age of 16, and underwent surgeries, but a benign tumour resurfaced after he married.

His death left behind his two year old daughter Poppy, who is now 4, and his heartbroken wife Ashlee.

On the second anniversary of Wesley’s passing, his sister Serena Keating organised a ‘27 Days of Kindness’ initiative.

Last year, Serena raised €11,295 through a charity walk in Phoenix Park and this time around, the mostly online event has raised over €9,000.

“The sponsored walk was ‘you’ll never walk alone’ because Weso was a die-hard Liverpool fan, but it was a huge success,” said Serena, a Lucan resident.

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Wesley with his wife Ashlee and daughter Poppy

“The Hospice couldn’t believe how much it raised, we all went back to the Silver Granite afterwards. This year with Covid, you couldn’t do a walk.”

Gauging a response from people online, Serena came up with the ‘27 Days of Kindness’ and many people and companies donated prizes, including 27 luxury hampers.

On Sunday, a Facebook Live draw was conducted at the McKinley School of Dance in Lucan, who supported Serena’s initiative and raffled six months free dance classes as one of the donated prizes.

We were completely overwhelmed by the kindness of local businesses who donated to the spot prizes,” said Serena.

“Aifric McKinley, the owner of the school, helped massively with the fundraiser and allowed me use her dance studios. My uncle Phil Coleman dressed up as Santa and kids went in one by one.”

Wesley, Serena and Joey’s mother Breda passed away in 2014 from stomach cancer and their father Thomas was also diagnosed with cancer but has made a recovery.

Serena said: “I would like to thank every single person who donated to the fund and spot prizes. They helped me keep Weso’s memory alive while giving to a very worthy cause.

“My uncle Seanie Coleman also passed in the Hospice in March this year.

“We will be forever grateful to the Hospice for how they cared for Weso and Seanie and all our family.”

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