Hundreds of mourners packed St Patrick’s Church in Derrymacash for the heartbreaking funeral of young Rebeccca Haughey who lost her battle with cancer.
A guard of honour from Rebecca’s school, St Catherine’s College in Armagh, stood as the popular young girl’s remains arrived at the church yesterday morning.
She has been described as ‘a delightful girl; multi-talented, gifted and full of laughter’.
But her mother Colette and sister Lisa struggled to hold back tears as they bade Rebecca farewell.
A JustGiving fundraising page set up by Colette just hours after her daughter lost her brave fight has received over £1,527 with donations going to CLIC Sargent.
In an emotional tribute to her daughter, Ms Haughey highlighted her daughter’s “strength, determination and relentless hope” in her bid to beat the disease.
She said her “positivity was infectious and anyone who knew her could see this straight away”.
“Rebecca would want to be remembered, not as the ‘cancer patient’ - she wouldn’t want sympathy - but instead would want everyone to remember her for being herself, for her personality and the love she had for her family, friends, and anyone she met.
“There were a lot of charities that supported us as a family over the last two years, from Friends of the Cancer Centre (Renee Reid our Clinical Nurse Specialist), Cancer Fund for Children (Lynn our Community Specialist), Boom foundation and more - from the bottom of our hearts, we can’t thank you enough.
“We want to thank CLIC Sargent in particular, which provided us with Simon Darby our social worker, who was there from day one to support us, listen to us and help us where needed.”
Mrs Haughey said the charity provided her with accommodation near Belfast City Hospital, so she was only a few minutes from Rebecca as she received her gruelling cancer treatments.
“Without CLIC Sargent and the other charities, our experience would have been very different,” she added.
Rebecca, the daughter of Ms Haughey and the late Owen Haughey, died peacefully at Belfast City Hospital last Thursday - less than seven weeks after doctors told her she was no longer responding to treatment the way they would have wanted.
She had lived a very full life and was also a member of Moyraverty Arts and Drama Society (MADS).
Principal of St Catherine’s College Mrs Noeleen Tiffney described Rebecca as “a delightful girl: multitalented, gifted and full of laughter”.
She added, “She had kindness and compassion at her core and was a true friend to everyone. The loss of this precious member of our school community has left those of us who knew her deeply saddened.
“She gave so much of herself to Saint Catherine’s College and we were all enriched by having known her. Our thoughts are with Rebecca’s family at this time and we ask that you would remember them in your prayers in the days ahead.”
Kieran Corr, chairman of MADS, said Rebecca was a highly valued and popular girl, who had performed in a number of shows. “I know a lot of members of MADS are going to be very upset at this news,” he said.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with her family.”
On July 25, Rebecca wrote on her Facebook page of her determination to beat the disease, after being told by her consultant that it was progressing rapidly and it was doubtful that more could be done for her.
The family have asked for no flowers but if you would like to make a donation send it to Clic Sargent c/o Jack McLearnon & Son funeral Directors 75 North Street Lurgan BT67 9AH.
Or visit the Just Giving page https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/inmemoryofrebecca