By Cronan Scanlon
FOR the last time, a charity fun run/walk will take place in Killygordon on Sunday in memory of a young mother who died just days after giving birth.
Melissa Hamilton (nee Connolly), from Sallywood, Killygordon, died in September 2011, two weeks after she was diagnosed with cancer, and just nine days after the birth of her third child, Gracey.
However, Gracey was delivered by C-section at 28 weeks and is now profoundly deaf. Melissa’s diagnosis had been missed following a number of scans at Letterkenny General Hospital. Earlier this year, her family successfully sued the HSE.
Speaking to the Donegal News this week, her husband Seamus announced this year’s chosen charity is the Solace Cancer Support Centre in Donegal town. The centre wants to open an art therapy suite – the two nearest such facilities are in Dublin and Belfast.
“Gracey avails of art therapy and it has brought her on leaps and bounds. They want to open a suite in Donegal town and the people in Solace said they want to name it after Melissa. If we raise enough money, this much needed facility will always be there and Melissa’s name will be above the door, so I would appeal to as many people as possible to come out and support the final Melissa Run this year.”
Each entrant will be given a pink balloon on which to write the name of anyone they know who died from cancer. They will then be asked to release them at the starting line.
The walk/run will take place on Sunday at 12.30 pm, with registration from 11 am at the Red Hugh’s club house at Crossroads, Killygordon. Leaving Melissa’s former home at the Curragh estate, Killygordon, the fast, flat route take entrants back to the Red Hugh’s grounds via a slight detour at Crossroads village.