The family of Irishman Ronan Winters, who is dying of cancer in the US, have met their target of raising $100,000 in just three days.
An online campaign, started by friends and family this week, to generate funds for the 47-year-old from Blackrock’s medical expenses, went viral with donations flooding in from Ireland and America.
Over $20,000 was raised in the past 24 hours after social media sites in Ireland took on the cause of the dad of two from Blackrock in Co Dublin.
Ronan was diagnosed on December 23rd last with stage four esophageal cancer. The cancer spread in weeks to many vital organs, and two months later he suffered a stroke that left him unable to talk or eat.
Last year, believing he was heatlhy, Ronan decided to cancel the life insurance policy he had been paying into for 15 years and to concentrate on bolstering a college fund for his two teenage daughters.
Ronan who was born in Belfast and moved to South Dublin as a boy, graduated from Blackrock college in 1985, he worked as a salesman in the developing technology industry in Dublin, before moving to London in the late 80s and then America’s west coast, where he worked for one of the first internet search engines.
Writing in a Blackrock College past pupils’ book in 2006, Ronan tells how he made his fortune in 1997 with the fastest public stock offering in American history.
“Not long after I literally lost everything in the stock market crash of 2000. It was fantastic while it lasted, I’m on my way back and currently involved in another technology start-up. My wife Diane has kept me grounded through it all and we are blessed with two beautiful daughters,” he wrote.
His wife Diane contacted independent.ie to express the family’s gratitude to people who have reached out to them: “We are so grateful that friends and family are supportive and showing their love and reaching out to us. Even people he was friends with ages ago have wonderful memories of the "love of life" my husband shared with them. We are blessed to have found each other and to have had two wonderful girls. Ronan is my soulmate, my strength, and I his. I will be strong for him now and continue raising our girls to be as strong, kind and loving as he is.”
“Thinking of you specially. Remembering great times in 'Rock….and some of those crazy teachers….good laughs!” wrote one friend.