Newspaper for Crossmaglen, South Armagh, Newry and Down.

Bereaved family donates £14k in memory of beloved son

The culmination of a year-long fundraising campaign in memory of a young Silverbridge man came to fruition recently with the presentation of proceeds totaling £14,126.22 to the Cancer Fund for Children charity.

The fantastic sum was raised by the family and friends of Micéal Murphy who lost his battle with cancer in September 2015, aged just 20.

A promising student at Queen’s University, Micéal was diagnosed with an aggressive brain tumour just four months earlier. Throughout his short illness, he received unparallelled support from the Cancer Fund for Children, a charity which supports children and young people affected by cancer, and their families.  It was this support, coupled with Micéal’s own ambition to fundraise, that prompted his family and friends to embark on a campaign to raise much needed funds for the organization to assist its work with terminally ill children and bereaved families.

Micéal’s mum, Fidelma, recalls how he wanted to become involved in fundraising for the charity, just weeks after he was diagnosed.

“From the first week of Micéal’s diagnosis in May 2015, while he was still in hospital, he said he wanted to fundraise to help young people with their fight against cancer.  We were keen to help him and so in June we held a street collection raising £2,385.35, and our campaign ‘Thumbs Up For Micéal’ began.

“After Micéal lost his battle, we continued to fundraise in honour of his memory and bravery, his compassion for others, but most of all because we knew that it was exactly what Micéal would have done himself,” Fidelma told The Examiner.

Thus began the organization of a series of successful events which included a truck run, a handball tournament, marathon runs, coffee mornings and a host of other functions.
Micéal Murphy’s mother, Fidelma, presents a cheque for £14,126.22 to Naomi Braithwaite, Cancer Fund for Children. The proceeds are from a series of fundraising events held over the past year in memory of Micéal who lost his battle with cancer in September 2015.

Last week the year-long campaign concluded, however Fidelma points out that the family intends to continue fundraising on a smaller scale.

On Tuesday, family members, relations and friends gathered in the Cross Square Hotel to hand over the proceeds to charity representative, Naomi Braithwaite.

Fidelma says the family has derived great comfort at being able to “give something back” to the charity, which, she said, offered them immense practical and emotional support.

She paid tribute to everyone whose donations and efforts with the organization of dozens of fundraising events resulted in the accumulation of more than £14,000 in memory of Micéal.

“The generosity of people has been overwhelming,” she said.  “We have the most fantastic neighbours and friends.  Our small community united to help us raise this money in our son Micéal’s memory.  We could not have achieved this without that support.  We cannot explain the comfort this has given us, to feel the love that Micéal’s team mates, friends, neighbours and the entire community held for him.

Offering heartfelt appreciation, she added: “To say thank you seems too small, but it’s all we can do.  Thank you for helping us make Micéal’s wish come true.  Thank you for your support and love.  And thank you for continuing to help keep Micéal’s memory alive.  Thumbs up for Micéal!”

St. Joseph’s High School, Crossmaglen deputy Head Boy, Eoghan McMahon and deputy Head Girl, Aislinn Murtagh are pictured presenting a cheque for £1,000 to members of the Murphy family, which was raised during a recent coffee morning in the school to aid the Northern Ireland Cancer Fund for Children in memory of past pupil Micéal Murphy.