At the presentation for proceeds of the “Room for Mandy” Appeal. Back: Cllr Andy Moloney & The Keep Proprietor Jenny O’Loughlin. Front: Kay and Katie Mai McGonigle and Linda, Katelyn and Mandy Doyle.
There has been a fundraiser running for the last few weeks, both in The Keep Coffee Shop in Cahir and in Mai’s Café in Clonmel for 12-year-old Mandy Doyle from Cahir.
The Keep decided to run the “Room for Mandy” appeal as they are a new business in the community and are always looking at ways to use the business to spin a positive for the community. Proprietor Jenny O’Loughlin approached Cllr Andy Moloney when Santa’s Grotto was announced at the Tourist Office and asked how she could get involved to do something special for all the small kids visiting Santa.
Jenny said: “So we decided to offer free hot chocolates to all the visiting kids as a little treat. As a parent of three children myself, I can see clearly how difficult and stressful this year has been on the little people in our lives. But I saw this also as an opportunity to tell Mandy’s story and appeal to our wonderful community for their support.
“So when we decided to run the ‘Room for Mandy’ appeal, I asked her mum Linda just to write me a paragraph so when we were asking our customers if they wanted to support we could tell Mandy’s story. Hearing how the Mandy copes with her illness makes you realise that the reality is that Mandy needs a room for herself that is adapted to her needs while she continues her ongoing battle with leukaemia.”
Mandy has been receiving treatment for leukaemia for quite a while now and is a real little fighter. She has the biggest smile and is always cheerful despite all that she is going through. Surrounded by a fantastic family Mandy has great support all round but things are certainly not easy for the family. Mum Linda and twin sister Katelyn are constantly at her side and with the Covid threat everywhere now it must be so hard to try to maintain a healthy and happy atmosphere.
Mandy is currently sleeping on the couch with her Mum because of her back injury and general weakness from the ongoing chemotherapy. With her severe weight loss the stairs is difficult for her to climb so having her own room would give her the space to relax and do her own thing.
It would be safer too as her twin Katelyn is in school and if she comes home with a bug it could be very dangerous for Mandy as she has no defences against bugs because of the chemo. Mandy has a further two years of treatment ahead of her and her own room would give her a sanctuary away from the family, plus she’s 13 in May and all teenagers like their own space too!
It will benefit both girls as it’s also difficult on her sister Katelyn as she’s has to be so careful around Mandy.
One of the local businesses that The Keep supports is Mai’s Café in Clonmel. Kay McGonigle and her husband Shane understand the harsh reality of a sick child. Their daughter Katie Mai has only recently recovered from acute lymphoblastic leukaemia after many treatments. Jenny asked Kay to get involved and together they raised €700 for the incredibly brave Mandy.
Just before Christmas and the roll out of the latest restrictions little Katie Mai McGonigle along with her Mum Kay and Jenny O’Loughlin, proprietor of The Keep presented the funds raised from the “Room for Mandy” Appeal to courageous Mandy Doyle who was with mum Linda and sister Katelyn. Cllr Andy Moloney popped in to show his support too. There were coffees and hot chocolates all round and the two girls chatted about their own experiences with leukaemia like old friends.
It was lovely to see the smiles on their faces as they talked and seeing Katie Mai looking so well now after her illness must give great comfort to Mandy and her family. Well done to all involved in this very special fundraiser.
If people still want to donate to the “Room for Mandy” Appeal they can do so at The Keep (Mai’s Café is closed again due to lockdown) and we will pass them on to the Doyle Family. The Keep is more than happy to facilitate any further donations.