Offaly woman and her sisters to raffle family home to raise funds for charity
An Offaly woman and her sisters are holding a raffle to sell their family home, and they are donating a portion of the proceeds to a cause very close to their hearts.
Originally from Donegal, Susan Ryan now lives in Birr and she is organising the raffle with her sisters Johanne, Marcia and Dorothy
Tickets for the traditional farmhouse in Bruckless in Donegal with an adjoining hostel and outbuildings are only STG£10 each. Furthermore, the winner also gets STG£50,000 cash to help them get started in their new home.
But this is about much more than the property.
Susan Ryan explained why she and her sisters made the decision to donate up to STG£75,000 from the proceeds to the Beaumont foundation.
“My Mum and Dad died within eight weeks of each other in 2018,” she said. “Mum had a brain tumor and Dad had lived with a spinal injury for a lot of his life. He had an accident in Australia many years ago and had to totally learn to walk again.
“It was normal to us, growing up knowing what it was to live with a spinal injury. It was part of our lives.
“When Mum got the brain tumor the team at Beaumont were able to extend her life by 18 months. We want to support the work of the neurological department there. It is amazing what they do. They are geniuses. Give them the right equipment and they perform miracles.”
One such miracle was the highly skilled procedure that gave Lyndall an extra 18 months of life, and gave her family that precious time with their beloved mother.
The procedure is called ‘Asleep/awake/asleep stealth guided craniotomy and sonowand guided and 5ALA guided debulking of a left frontal glioma with intra operative monitoring.’
In order for the tumors to be cut away without incurring brain damage that would have left Lyndall mute, she had to be awake and in conversation during surgery.
“She was very brave to do it,” said Susan. “It is incredible what they can do.”
The family are immensely grateful to neurosurgeon Dr Stephen Nally, neurophysiologist Dr Ronan Kilbride, anaesthetist Dr E Duggan and the now-retired nurse Mary Heffernan.
When Lyndall got the bad news in 2018 that the tumor had returned and she had between six and twelve weeks to live, her husband Ben was already ill. He died a week later.
In what was a very tough time for the family, Lyndall went into hospice care because of the complexity of her illness. She passed away just eight weeks later.
The family will never forget the care received by their parents at Beaumont Hospital.
“They gave so much care and empathy and support to all of us,” said Susan.
A story she read on the Beaumont Foundation website and Facebook page set her plans to raise money in motion.
“I read that a family had donated €100,000. They used that money to buy a piece of equipment that saved the life of a 16-year-old girl. I thought, ‘that could have been my 16-year-old daughter.’
“I knew that I wanted to do something to help but we are just ordinary people and we don’t have that kind of money.
“I spoke to my sisters. The house was sitting empty and we decided that we could raffle it and donate some of the money to Beaumont. STG£750,000 when changed to euro and with the gift benefits would work out at €100,000.
“It means so much to us that our family home where we grew up could be used to save someone’s life.”
The siblings have also decided to include in the prize the sum of STG£50,000.
“The house is lying empty at the moment,” said Susan. “We all have our own homes. The money from the house raffle would help the four of us to pay off our mortgages.
“And we really like that idea that our home could be the start in life for some other family and we didn’t want that to be a burden to them so we felt it was the right thing to do to include the cash.
“It is a risk. We could end up losing money but we really hope people will want to win the house. They could start a nice business there with the hostel and the campsite.”
Ben and Lyndall met at a dance in Australia. They fell in love with each other and on moving to Ben’s native Donegal, fell in love with the farmhouse that was to become their family home.
“It gave Mum and Dad a start, and now it could give some other family a start,” said Susan.
Tickets and further details are available at https://raffall.com/193700/enter-raffle-to-win-donegal-coastal-property-50k-hosted-by-susan-ryan