Family, friends and community rally round to help Evelyn

Lauren Gillespie and Suzanne Garrett
Lauren Gillespie and Suzanne Garrett

Friends, family and the Lisburn community have rallied round to raise £38,000 to help a Hilden woman suffering from Motor Neurone Disease.

Mother-of-two Evelyn Gillespie was diagnosed with the condition in December and needed a bedroom, wet room and downstairs toilet built onto her Glenmore home.

Evelyn’s daughters, Suzanne Garrett and Lauren Gillespie, knew they had a target to reach and started off with a blow-dry day that raised more than £5,000.

Scores of others raised thousands with a variety of events, from a Bondi Beach swim (£500) and a Night of Mediumship (£1,000), through a dart contest (£1,055) and a parachute jump (£3,419) to a ballot which raised an amazing £9,000.

A Helping Evelyn Gillespie Facebook page was set up which was shared by hundreds.

The family of Alan Stitt (48), who underwent controversial stem call treatment for Motor Neurone Disease in China in 2008, but passed away in 2013, even donated £490 from their annual football charity event.

Suzanne said she had been overwhelmed by public generosity and couldn’t thank people enough for their help.

“The generosity and support has enabled us to build mum a bedroom and wet room on ground level onto the side of her home,” she said.

“Without the love and support from each and everyone of you this would not have been possible. A massive thank -ou to all who have given up their time to help.”