Rita helps to raise over £5,000 in memory of late father Gerry

Rita McAlonan with her late father Gerry
Rita McAlonan with her late father Gerry

A Crumlin woman and her family have helped to raise an amazing £5,000 in memory of her father Gerry Monaghan who died, just over a month ago.

Rita McAlonan, fulfilled her father’s dying wish, which was to raise money for a guide dog charity.

Gerry Monaghan

Gerry Monaghan

Gerry (69), described as a ‘truly great man’, lost his left eye 16 years ago after he was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer.

Gerry’s daughter and her family began a fundraising campaign via a Justgiving page after he died on Sunday August 28, weeks after he was diagnosed with terminal cancer. “My father was a great man who worked very hard his whole life,” recalled Rita

Gerry and his wife, who had seven children, were founder members of the Heartbeat charity. Their daughter Claire in 1983 was born with congenital heart disease. They helped raise money for equipment and a parents accommodation at the Royal Hospital for Sick Children. They also supported families and their children who had congenital heart disease.

Gerry was diagnosed with terminal cancer in August 2, 2016.

“The bravery of how he took the news was very admirable,” said Rita. “He took it a day at a time never wanting to make a fuss or show he was in pain.

“He continued to make us laugh right to the very end.”

Gerry was diagnosed with two rare cancers throughout his life. He was treated for Ocular Melanoma, a rare cancer behind his left eye. As a result he lost his eye was partially blind in his right eye.

He was recently diagnosed with a rare bile duct cancer Cholangiocarcinoma.

“When he was diagnosed he expressed how he would like to give to a guide dog charity,” said Rita.“His charitable approach to others will be his legacy.

“Our aim was to raise enough money so we can name a puppy after Gerry and watch it change the life of someone who needs it.

“One person anonymously gave us £1,000.

“The next milestone is to raise £10,000.”

The Justgiving page is https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/GerryMonaghan