PORTADOWN man Maurice Thompson had marked his 60th birthday with a fundraiser that raised £700 for the cardiac ward at Craigavon hospital.
Maurice had been a patient at the ward and it was his way of thanking the staff, but sadly in July last year, the father-of-three and grandfather passed away after losing a battle with cancer at the age of 62.
Keen to follow the Brownstown man’s charitable example, his family decided to spend the month of March by embarking on a variety of fundraising activities all of which collectively raised £3,020 for Cancer Research UK.
From Maurice’s eldest son, Brian, who bravely allowed his chest to be waxed, to grandson Nathan abseiling down the Europa Hotel in Belfast along with his dad, Gary (Maurice’s youngest son), and great-niece Abbie who successfully completed a sponsored silence in her P4 class at Edenderry Primary School - it was a family affair that the former print-setter would have been proud of.
His daughter, Lisa, set up an internet webpage where supporters could make donations, which, at last count, has raised £830. Poignantly, their fundraising activities ended on March 31, which would have been Maurice’s 63rd birthday.
The cheque was recently presented by Maurice’s widow, Melrose, sons Brian and Gary, as well as grandchildren to Lisa Cushnie, chairperson of Cancer Research UK’s Portadown branch, who thanked them for their hard work and effort.
Explaining why the family embarked on the month-long fundraiser, Lisa said, “Our Dad lost his brief battle with the disease on July 1, 2011. He was an inspiration to us all and was loved and respected by so many people and was certainly everything we could have asked for in a dad, and more.
“He fought his illness with bravery, strength, dignity and courage and we wanted to make him proud by raising money for such a worthy cause.”
A keen hobbyist, Maurice enjoyed keeping marine fish in a large aquarium which, son Brian revealed, are still being looked after by the family.
“He also loved keeping Foreign Finches. He enjoyed his hobbies,” said Brian.
The Thompson family added that they have been “totally overwhelmed” by the generosity of everyone who contributed to the cause. They thanked family and friends for their efforts, with special thanks to Wendy Williamson of Wendy’s Hair and Beauty, Laurelvale, Stephen Doyle, head teacher at Edenderry Primary School, G.K. Stores, Brownstown, Spar, Killicomaine, The Football Warehouse as well as neighbours who kindly made donations via door-to-door collections. Thanks are also extended to Cancer Research Uk for providing promotional materials to assist with fundraising.
Anyone who would like to make a donation can do so via www,donateinmemory.cancerresearchuk.org/0002357.