As many of you already know, my sister Tricia passed away in 2010 at the tender age of thirty, following a four-year battle with breast cancer. A very talented artist and teacher, my kind and creative sister had an amazing effect on the people she worked with. She was able to invoke the artist out of all people, of all abilities. This is a poem reminds me of her…….
Tricia had boundless energy even while enduring chemo. She had found her soul mate in Tim and they had built a lovely life together full of music, art, books and a cat called Ginger. Not even chemo could stop her from enjoying an unforgettable trip to Prague with Tim the Christmas before she passed away.
Eight weeks later she was dead.
Tricia was a very modest person. She lost her hair, had a full mastectomy, lost her nails and developed multiple scars from her treatment but never once batted a, eyelash less eyelid! She remained positive the whole way through, we even christened her Baldy Locks. I have so many fond memories of this time that I cherish. She was so brave and strong and dignified throughout it all. Tricia was never afraid of dying it was the people that she left behind that she worried about.
Tricia passed away on the morning of the 8th February wrapped in our arms. After Tricia died I set up the Tricia McCarthy Memorial Scholarship in conjunction with Breast Cancer Research, formerly NBCRI, to fund a researcher every year to try to determine the cause of breast cancer and improve the treatment for patients.
My family and I are now heavily involved in fundraising. Brendan my brother completed One thousand Miles in Fifty days as a tribute to Tricia and raised a significant amount of money.
My Mother Margaret, my brother Justin and my Aunt Katie McGrath undertook the challenge of completing the last leg of the Camino de Santiago and again raised much needed funds. While my cousin Kevin O’Driscoll completed Gael Force West,a 67 km endurance race that mixes running, cycling and kayaking with a trip up and down Croagh Patrick, to support the work the charity founded in memory of his cousin.
Tricia had so much she wanted to do and see and make and do and travel to and loved her boyfriend, her family and her cat so much and never wanted to leave us. I miss her soo much every single day but especially now since I see my baby Maxim-who was born on her birthday-doing little things that remind me of my sweet, kind, courageous, talented sister. Maxi sucks his thumb and sometimes when I look at him and his pudgy lil hands sucking away and smiling up at me it brings me back to when Tricia used to do the exact same thing.
For more information on the Tricia McCarthy Memorial Scholarship please go to the website