Entertainment

Wednesday 20 August 2014

Terminally ill 16-year-old takes his anti-suicide campaign to RTE

Caitlin McBride

Published 05/04/2013 | 12:46

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Terminally ill teenager Donal Walsh will continue his campaign to end suicide on The Saturday Night Show this weekend.

Donal Walsh will be highlighting his campaign to end suicide on The Saturday Night Show tomorrow

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Terminally ill teenager Donal Walsh will continue his campaign to end suicide on The Saturday Night Show this weekend. The eloquent teen, who hails from Blennerville, Co. Kerry, touched the hearts of the nation earlier this week with his incredible letter revealing his personal battle with terminal cancer - and his quest to end the suicide epidemic plaguing this country before his life ends.

"I realised that I was fighting for my life for the third time in four years and this time I have no hope," he opened up. "Yet still I hear of young people committing suicide and I’m sorry but it makes me feel nothing but anger."

Donal will appear on RTE's The Saturday Night Show tomorrow night to highlight his own moving story and how he hopes a positive message can reach those at risk of suicide.

"I feel angry that these people choose to take their lives, to ruin their families and to leave behind a mess that no one can clean up," he added. "I am here with no choice, trying as best I can to prepare my family and friends for what’s about to come and leave as little a mess as possible. I know that most of these people could be going through financial despair and have other problems in life, but I am at the depths of despair and believe me there is a long way to go before you get to where I am. For these people no matter how bad life gets there are no reasons bad enough to make them do this, if they slept on it or looked for help they could find a solution and that they need to think of the consequences of what they are about to do."

Donal, who has been incredibly honest with his tragic battle in order to help anyone he can, opened up about when he was given the terminal diagnosis.

"It was given to me as easy as dinner," he said. “A few months left, he said. There it was I was given a timeline on the rest if my life. No choice, no say, no matter. It was given to me as easy as dinner. I couldn’t believe it, that all I had was 16 years here and soon I began to pay attention to every detail that was going on in this town."

Before his life changed so dramatically, Donal was your typical 16-year-old boy - a secondary school student who played rugby and loved his family with all his heart. And his kindness is shining through even the darkest of circumstances.

He raised more than €50,000 for Old Lady's Hospital for Sick Children in Dublin while he was a patient there, and adores coaching underage players at Tralee Rugby Club as he can no longer play himself. He is determined to raise awareness about those battling suicidal thoughts and depression.

"So please as a 16 year old who has no say in his death sentence, who has no choice in the pain he is about to cause and who would take any chance at even a few more months on this planet appreciate what you have, know that there are always other options and help is always there.”

He will be joined on Brendan O'Connor's couch by Welsh singer Charlotte Church, who reveals how she finally 'gew up' at 27 and Daithi O Se, alongside reigning Rose of Tralee Nicola McEvoy to chat about the preparations for this year's festival.

 

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