By Louise Walsh
A young Meath mum whose devastating diagnosis of terminal cancer last week left her 'completely and utterly broken,' says she has been blown away by the massive worldwide response to her appeal for help to make memories with her children before she dies.
A Gofundme page, established to support 33-year old Kells resident, Kim Allen, in creating cherished moments with her children Dean (16) and 11-year old Lauren (Lulu) has already reached over €7,000 of a €10,000 target.
People have also been in contact from France offering Kim and her children their home to stay while visiting Paris - one of the destinations on her wish list.
Many messages from friends and acquaintances across the globe said they wanted to help because of Kim's own generosity to them in the past.
Kim's world fell apart last Wednesday when she was told she had an inoperable and aggressive form of pancreatic cancer, after tests for stomach and back pain.
As she struggled to come to terms with a life-limiting prognosis, her first thoughts were for her children who would be left behind.
Her heartbroken sister Wendy Coyle immediately set up the appeal, determined to help her sister make as many happy memories as possible before her condition deteriorates.
Kim gave up her job as a Navan retail manager the day after her diagnosis and is due to start chemotherapy in the coming weeks - only as a way of relieving the pain she is currently suffering.
In a heart-rendering plea, 40-year-old Wendy said: "My beautiful baby sister Kim has been told that she doesn't have long to live.
"While I can't do anything to save her beautiful life, I can make sure that short time she has left is full of fun, laughter and happy memories for her and her children.
"She still has so much she wanted to do in this life - go to Paris to see the Eiffel Tower with her daughter, visit Rome with her son, go on a hot air balloon ride, do a parachute jump, climb Machu Picchu and go crazy in Las Vegas.
"I don't know how many of these things she will get to do in the time that she has left but my aim is to raise as many funds as possible to help her achieve the most important goals that will create the most precious memories and bonds that the children will hold for the rest of their lives.
"For those of you who know Kim, you know how much time and love she gives to other people so please help me to make sure the time she has left with us is as special and memorable as she is"
Wendy has described the response as mind-blowing, with people also sending vouchers for Kim to go on spending sprees.
"Anyone messaging that knows Kim say they are helping because she was always kind to them or always helped them out. That's exactly who she is - when you meet her, you never forget her."
In a heart-felt thank you, Kim said: "I would like to thank everyone from the bottom of my heart for all the kind gestures, lovely gifts, generous donations and sincere messages in the last week.
"When I got the news of my illness, my world was turned upside down and honestly, I felt completely and utterly broken. But I have been overwhelmed with the amount of love that family, friends and complete strangers have shown to me.
"I look forward to spending time with my family in the coming weeks and creating new memories that I would not have had the opportunity to experience without the support of all the people who donated to the GoFundMe page."
Anyone wishing to donate can do so here.