Elma Walsh, mother of Donal Walsh who passed on long before his time, speaks bravely here with Fr Alan Neville MSC about Donal’s final message before his passing.
Donal Walsh, the Kerry teenager who touched so many lives when he came to prominence through his writings and subsequent appearance on Brendan O’Connor’s ‘The Saturday Night Show’ is being honored by his native county. Donal who fund raised tirelessly while battling Cancer has now had the Donal Walsh #Livelife Foundation set up by his family in order to promote his anti-suicide message as well as forward his causes of providing age appropriate teenage facilities in hospital and hospice centers. While he was battling cancer for four years, from the age of 12, he became very aware of the effect his illness was having on his family and friends. “I feel angry that these people choose to take their life to ruin their family and to leave behind a mess that no one can clean up while here I am with no choice in my sentence, trying as best I can to prepare my family and friends for what’s about to come and to leave as little mess as possible.” These words were taken from an article written by Donal as a call to his peers was to live life to the fullest. His television appearance touched a nerve for so many people both nationally and internationally and as his father Fionnbar said “One of the things Donal did was he opened up the conversation, which is half the battle, and he just left it out there.” The parents of Donal Walsh have opened up about the legacy he wanted them to carry forward and have set up a foundation in his name – www.donalwalshlivelife.org
During his illness, Donal found that there were not enough facilities for teenagers in hospitals and hospices and this is why Kare 4 Kids and the Palliative Care Unit at Kerry General Hospital have become two of Donal Walsh #livelife selected charities. “We want to start our aid in the new Tralee Hospice facility which will be the prototype for other units that we may be able to assist as well as to offer some much needed funds to other families who may find themselves financially constrained by the costs of dealing with serious or life threatening illnesses. We received incredible support from people while Donal was ill and we would like to direct Donal’s legacy to assisting others.” said Donals’ mother Elma.
Fundraising/Supporting organisations include:
- Killarney Summerfest (Ball, Teddy Bears Picnic & Junior Cycle)
- West Kerry Charity Climb (Now being run by the #Livelife Foundation)
- Institute of Technology, Tralee (Short Film Competition)
- Bantry Blues Cork & Kerry Ladies Football
- CH Chemist, Tralee (Fashion Show)
- Adare Manor Golf Club (Celeb-am Golf Classic)
- Donal’s Day – Festival of Kerry, Tralee Vintners, Kerin’s O’Rahilly’s GAA Club , Tralee RFC
- IRFU, Munster Rugby & Tralee RFC (Livelife Walk)
Here is Donal on Brendan O’Connor’s show on RTE before he died: