Nichola Foley’s mum Angela Byrne passed away from cancer in 2014. This will be Nikki’s third year taking part in the Vhi Women’s Mini Marathon to raise funds for Our Lady’s Hospice.
My mam was the most incredible, glamorous, fiery and inspirational woman you would ever meet. She was diagnosed with leiomyosarcoma in October 2011 after a hysterectomy, then a non related primary brain tumour in April 2013. She never let it get the better of her and was very private about it. She didn't want anyone treating her differently but most of all she was trying to protect her family. Mam and Dad were childhood sweethearts and lived for us, my brother, my sister and I. All she ever wanted was for us to be happy and Dad is doing a great job carrying on that wish for her. He is the strongest man I know! Many people were shocked by Mam’s untimely death in 2014, at the age of 52. My sister said shortly after her death that no matter what was thrown at Mam she lived her life by the quote Get Up, Dress Up, Show Up and Never Give Up. We have all lived life like this ever since. We will forever be indebted to the staff of Our Lady’s Hospice for their care. They made it possible for us to bring Mam home and ensure she was comfortable and surrounded by her family and best friends the whole time. They made the experience as bearable and as smooth as possible. The nurses are literally angels sent from heaven, I don’t know how they do the job they do.
Early in 2014 I decided I wanted to really challenge myself. I had watched Mam courageously battle this disease and I wanted to do something hard and raise a lot of money to help a worthy cause. I started my training for the Vhi Women’s Mini Marathon with the visualisation of Mam waiting for me at the finish line, telling me how proud she was of me and me telling her how proud I was of her! Unfortunately we didn't get that moment. I very nearly didn't take part but Mam's youngest sister Karen was still going to do it so together we decided to get Mam's picture on our t-shirts and #TeamAngie was born! Being just four weeks after Mam's passing it was very emotional but we raised around €3000. In 2015 43 people in #TeamAngie raised almost €6000 and this year we are hoping to have more participants and raise some more much needed funds. I love the atmosphere of the Vhi Women’s Mini Marathon. Everybody has a story, everybody is there for someone and to try and raise much needed funds for their chosen causes. It's a wonderful event that helps so many incredible and worthwhile charities throughout Ireland. The best part last year was how everyone joined us afterwards to celebrate Mam. Our dad, brother, husbands and Mam's friends all joined us afterwards, where Mam herself used to raise a glass with everyone after the Vhi Women’s Mini Marathon and have a great night!