Young Stevenage siblings dye hair purple in memory of dad and in aid of hospice
- Credit: Archant
The three young children of a man who lost his battle with cancer have dyed their hair purple to raise money for the hospice that cared for him.
John O’Shea - who lived in Stevenage with his wife Caitriona and children Livia, nine, Saoirse, seven, and Lorcan, five - was just 38 when he died in November.
He had spindle cell sarcoma - an extremely rare soft tissue tumour - and was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma in September 2018.
John had chemotherapy, but last May was told he was terminally ill.
He spent the next few months in and out of hospital, before being admitted to Garden House Hospice Care in Letchworth the week before he died.
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Caitriona said: “The hospice staff were amazing in managing his care, and were amazing with our children. They enabled the children to spend important time with John in a safe environment, creating happy memories like finger-painting stars.
“John’s mother and sister were able to stay with him for several nights, 24/7, and I was able to spend the final 24 hours with him.
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“The staff were amazing with his care, dignity and pain relief, and very supportive of the family.
“They were instrumental in making John’s last few days as comfortable and dignified as possible.
“Not only this, but the before and after care they provide, especially for the children, is so important. Our children have received pre and post bereavement counselling since June last year - first at school and now over the phone.
“They are such an important part of the community.” Livia, Saoirse and Lorcan have been determined to carry out a fundraising initiative with their mum, in memory of their dad and to raise money for the hospice, and have all now dyed their hair purple - the children’s own idea.
Caitriona said: “We have previously raised £200, and with this fundraiser of dying our hair we are hoping to raise another £500. We are almost at our target.
“The hospice’s services are vital to so many families, and in these current times of the coronavirus pandemic it is especially important to support them, as their charity shops are closed, losing them a lot of their funding.”
To donate to the O’Shea family’s fundraiser, visit tinyurl.com/y8e3tw37.