The Heart Angel Campaign Raises Over €97K for Make-A-Wish Ireland in Memory of Béibhinn O’Connor.
Irene and Eoin O’Connor from Carrigaline, recently presented Make-A-Wish Ireland Chief Executive Susan O’Dwyer with a cheque for €97,409.93, raised in memory of their beloved daughter Béibhinn. Béibhinn lived with a rare congenital heart defect and for her 4th birthday, Make-A-Wish had granted her wish for a trip to Disneyland Paris.
Béibhinn sadly passed away last September at just nine years old when, after coming through major open-heart surgery, a routine post-op procedure triggered her heart to stop. Eoin says, “we were devastated, of course. At once, all the joy in our world threatened to disappear. But we knew we had to keep her memory – her joy – alive. Béibhinn’s kindness and love for all people, all animals… and the world were beyond her years. She wouldn’t even let us kill a fly. Instead, she named them once they moved into our home!”
In Béibhinn’s name, Irene and Eoin launched the Heart Angel Campaign the following month. With it, they encouraged random acts of kindness while raising funds to help grant wishes to other seriously ill children like Béibhinn. The campaign gained support from a huge range of local businesses, schools and individuals, who donated, held fundraisers and shared their acts of kindness on social media.
Make-A-Wish Ireland Chief Executive, Susan O’Dwyer said, “we have been so touched by the kindness of Béibhinn’s family in raising funds for Make-A-Wish Ireland at such a difficult time. It was heartening to see so many people mirror the wonderful kindness Béibhinn showed during her nine short years, and what a beautiful way to remember such a special girl. The funds raised in Béibhinn’s name will go towards granting wishes to more children like her, and on behalf of those children and their families, we would like to say a huge thank you to the O’Connor family.”
Despite the necessary lockdowns and restrictions, Make-A-Wish has continued to grant wishes to children across Ireland who are living with life-threatening illnesses such as cancer, cystic fibrosis and heart conditions.
These wishes ranged from having a staycation, to virtually meeting a favourite celebrity, to having a garden play tower. Since Make-A-Wish does not receive any government funding, and with the cancellation of many events and fundraisers last year, these wishes were only possible thanks to the continued support of