Family and friends of a young Newtownabbey man who passed away last year after a brave battle against cancer have raised £20k for NI Hospice.
Last October, Richard Lee Gibson from Knockview passed away in the hospice’s in-patient unit. He had spent just four days there and he was just 34 years old. However, his legacy lives on through the generosity of his family and friends who have raised a phenomenal £20,326 in his memory.
Richard was diagnosed with bowel cancer in May 2009. Over the next four years he faced the challenges of the illness with a great sense of humour, a positive attitude and courage.
Tragically in May 2013 Richard’s condition became terminal and in October 2013 he was transferred to the hospice. His last few days were peaceful, dignified and pain free, surrounded by his family who meant so much to him.
His wife Lisa was so overwhelmed by the immense difference hospice care had made to Richard in such a short period of time that she decided to raise funds for the charity.
In December 2013 she set up the Richard Gibson Tribute Fund to commemorate her brave husband.
They held their first car boot sale, raising £350, and set themselves a fundraising target of £5,000.
However, the community support was so immense that every few months the target was raised. Thirty-five boot sales later and a phenomenal £20,326 has been donated to the Hospice.
Exceeding their £20,000 fundraising target at this time has been particularly poignant for Lisa and Richard’s loved ones, as it is the first anniversary of his passing on October 6.
“When Richard was transferred to Hospice I was initially very apprehensive as I envisaged it to be a gloomy place. However, nothing could have been further from the truth. They really are a team of exceptional people and I wanted to give something back to show appreciation for the fantastic care my husband received,” Lisa said.
“Never ever did we think we could raise so much, but people have been so kind and it keeps the family going knowing we are doing something positive and helpful in Ricky’s honour. We won’t ever stop missing him but it helps us all to know that every donation will make a difference to another hospice patient.”
Sharon Gorman, NI Hospice donor officer added: “We cannot express just how grateful we are to Richard’s loved ones for tirelessly organising these boot sales and raising a phenomenal £20,326. Rain or shine they have been at a boot sale to raise as much funds as they can in Richard’s memory. It has been a pleasure and a privilege to work with such committed supporters who have selflessly put aside their own heartache to help other local hospice patients.
“Our thoughts are with them at this time as they remember this inspirational young man.”
For more information about NI Hospice, or setting up a tribute fund, call Sharon on 028 9078 1836 or email firstname.lastname@example.org