A terminally-ill Donegal woman is determined to make happy memories with her children by taking them on a bucket list holiday.
Mum of four Leanne Browne from Castlefin has been battling cancer for the past number of years.
After surviving breast cancer and enjoying a few cancer-free years, Leanne discovered in 2021 that cancer had returned and spread into her bones, affecting her spine, collarbone, ribs, pelvis and liver.
She received the devastating news last year that her cancer is inoperable. She was given just weeks to live.
However, Leanne remained defiant and celebrated Christmas 2022 with her family. She continues to battle against her illness daily, despite her prognosis.
Leanne has now launched a community fundraiser to fulfil a final wish with her husband Ciaran and their children. A holiday to Florida is a dream destination for many families, but for Leanne, it’s a chance to create a core memory for her children to remember her by.
“I know what my prognosis is, I do not have long on this earth. This kills me that I will not see my children grow up get married, or become a grandmother, all the things we take for granted,” Leanne wrote on her GoFundMe appeal.
Leanne’s appeal has received overwhelming support in the past two days, with almost €22,000 raised of the €28,000 goal. The target has been set to cover possible medical expenses for Leanne and the extra support the family may need as they travel.
“The support alone has given Leanne a lift,” said a family friend.
“She has been so unwell for a few years that this holiday is something that she wants to do for her children.
“I’ve never met a girl with as much strength as Leanne. When she was first diagnosed with breast cancer she powered through, and even when she was having surgery, she was helping others when they had health scares. That is just the kind of person she is.
“She finds the good in everything, but this time, the bad news from the hospital has knocked them for six. Leanne and Ciaran have decided to do what they can, while they can.”
The couple has four children: Luke (17), Jodie (14), Conor (10) and Ryan (8). Ryan is diagnosed with Aspergers, a mild form of autism.
Aged in her late 30s, Leanne is well-known in the Finn Valley community, having worked in China Tower and the Oriental Restaurants in the Twin Towns. She also has a passion for hairdressing and beauty and is a qualified makeup artist.
Throughout her illness, Leanne’s drive has always been to have as much time as possible with her children. After her bone cancer diagnosis, she was adamant that she would receive her palliative care at home. With the help of her husband and kids, she has pushed herself to overcome each hurdle, and she now has set a new target to fulfil her Florida wish.
To visit Leanne’s fundraising page on GoFundMe, please click here: https://www.gofundme.com/f/leannes-wish