Kind messages of support and financial donations have poured in for a well-known Cork city man who received a terminal cancer diagnosis at Christmas time.
Ballincollig man Peter Mulroy worked for decades as a local milkman and in recent years worked as a paver. But he and his wife Niamh have had some major disruptions over the past year.
Peter has been in and out of hospital since first being diagnosed with bowel cancer in October 2020.
“It’s just been so hectic,” Peter’s wife Niamh Mulroy told Cork Beo.
After both chemotherapy and radiotherapy led to negative reactions that landed him in hospital, his treatment plan was delayed.
Niamh explained that Peter was given surgery in April 2021. Where was then given a colostomy, an operation where an opening is created in the stomach and waste is collected in a stoma bag outside the body.
Peter’s wife Niamh said “his journey has been a rollercoaster from one week to the next since his initial diagnosis.”
Just before Christmas, Peter was readmitted into hospital with back pains. Then the family received the “worst news possible” – Peter’s cancer was terminal.
The pair live in a rented house in Ballincollig with their four children, Caoimhe (24), Daniel (22), Peter (11), and their youngest, seven-year-old Molly-Ann who has ongoing health issues, type 1 diabetes and Down Syndrome.
The pair also have three young grandchildren.
It has always been Peter’s dream to renovate his family home which was left to the couple after his parents passed away.
The property is old, and in need of new kitchen, bathrooms, windows and doors.
The couple plan to move their family into the house and make it their home for “however long he has watching his kids grow up and grandkids making amazing memories with us all,” Niamh said.
“When Peter was working, he was working on the house as a kind of project,” Niamh said.
“But now it’s harder, without the funds, when he got sick, we just don’t have the funds now.”
Determined, Peter has been working away on the house, despite his ill-health.
“He’s always worked, all his life,” said Niamh, “so he’s used to being able to get out and work and he loved working on the house.”
“Some days he can only hang a door, more days he can paint a room,” said Niamh, “his determination is a credit to him, he has done some fantastic work in the house.”
“But sometimes he’ll do some work, and he’ll be on the couch for a week after,” she said.
“We’ve dealt with so much over the past few years,” she added, and said that Peter has been incredibly stressed over the house.
Niamh started a Gofundme page in order to raise some funds to speed up the process of house renovation and “take the pressure off Peter.”
And donations and well-wishes have flooded in for the popular family.
With hundreds of people chipping in, Niamh has raised the majority of their € 10,000 goal.
“We are blown away with all the support,” she said.
“It really does mean so much.”