Denise and Gerry Collins.

Fundraising effort for local couple tops €77k

A fundraising drive for a Bealnamulla couple with serious health problems has exceeded €77,000 in just a week.

The iDonate fundraiser was set up on Monday last (February 5) by Timmy Doyle from Brideswell, a lifelong friend of 53-year-old Gerry Collins from Rooskey, Bealnamulla, who overcame a diagnosis of breast cancer in 2019 before it returned in his lungs and bones.

A second cancer diagnosis hit the Collins family just before Christmas when Gerry's wife, Denise (48) was rushed to Portiuncula Hospital in Ballinasloe and then to St James's Hospital in Dublin where she was diagnosed with a stomach tumour which will require treatment and surgery.

Sadly, both Denise and Gerry Collins ended up spending Christmas in hospital and away from their three children, Zoe (17), Mia (11) and Jay (10). While his wife was hospitalised over the festive period, Gerry was also rushed to hospital when he developed a clot in his lung.

Their friend Timmy Doyle set up the fundraiser to ease the financial burden on the family during this difficult time. With the approval of the couple, he called it 'Friends of Denise and Gerry' and it only live on Bank Holiday Monday last week.

Within 24 hours it had raised an amazing €20,000 of its €50,000 target. Since then, it has exceeded that and now stands at a fantastic €77,474.

Over 911 donors have already donated to the appeal for the local family.

Despite the devastating health battle ahead for the local couple, their main priority, according to Timmy Doyle, is to “try to keep home life as normal as possible” for their three children.

Denise, who hails from Kiltoom, only returned home from hospital in recent days and will initially undergo a course of chemotherapy for her stomach tumour, while her husband is receiving ongoing treatment for his cancer.

Donations to the 'Friends of Denise and Gerry' idonate fundraising page can still be made at: