In January, single mother and grandmother Kathryn Doyon, diagnosed with Stage 4 colon and liver cancer, was surprised with €600 in funds raised to help her finally take her dream trip to Ireland. A follower of the Ireland of a Thousand Welcomes Facebook page, Doyon commented on a post about her long-time wish to visit one day, noting that her illness would now make that impossible. Page administrator Pauline McDermott was touched by her story, and established a GoFundMe account to raise airfare and expenses for Doyon to travel to Ireland.“There was something about her story that just stuck in my head, and I knew I had to help her if I could,” McDermott told the Irish Independent.
Doyon, 54, who works as a school bus driver in Plymouth, Massachusetts, was told shortly after her initial diagnosis in December 2016 that her tumors were inoperable and her cancer was terminal. Doyon’s daughter set up a page of her own on GoFundMe to raise money to help pay her mother’s medical bills and support her while she is unable to work. However, Doyon’s awareness of the stark percentages depicting her likelihood of survival through the next few years also made her think about what she wanted to do with the time she has left.
“I’ve always wanted to got to Ireland, but I could never afford it with the work I had as a school bus driver,” Doyon told the Independent. She was taken aback by the generosity of McDermott and all of the donors to the fund, commenting, “I’m definitely surprised that people want to help a complete stranger, it’s amazing and I’m so grateful.” ♦