A brave boy battling cancer said he had the “best birthday ever” as thousands of cards and parcels from well-wishers all over the world were delivered to his home.
Fionn Doyle, who turned seven, said it was “really cool” to see so many cards and presents delivered under armed garda and fire brigade escort to his home in Kildorrery, in north Cork.
“I’ll open maybe a good few of them today but I’ll leave the rest of them for my next birthday,” he said.
Fionn has been battling leukaemia for more than five years. But his parents Eimear and Jack were told in May that their little boy's illness is terminal.
Ahead of his birthday, Eimear issued a simple appeal on social media, inviting people to send Fionn a birthday card.
She said she expected a few people to respond.
But her message resonated around the world.
Local postman David Nolan got a garda and fire brigade escort to the Doyle house yesterday, and needed a small army of helpers to deliver dozens of bags of cards, parcels and boxes, which arrived from all over Ireland, Europe and America.
Eimear said the fact that so many people responded to her message will give the family strength in the weeks ahead.
“Days like today are a good distraction and allow us to focus on the moment, and what we have right here in front of us now,” she said.
“We just felt the love from everybody and the support has given us strength for the times when you hit a wall and think you can’t keep going...but to think there are so many people behind us gives us the strength to keep going.”
Don't miss tomorrow's Irish Examiner for this moving story.