Colleen's living her rose-tinted dream

Published 20/08/2014 | 05:36

Colleen Whelan, from Graiguenamanagh, from the Share A Dream charity pictured with her escort Des O'Callaghan and TV presenter Daithi O Se at the Rose of Tralee Festival. Photo: Domnick Walsh/Eye Focus

ONE young lady who was quite literally living her dream at Friday night's Rose Ball was Colleen Whelan from Graiguenamanagh in Kilkenny, who got to be a Rose for the weekend thanks to the Share A Dream Foundation.

The 14-year-old, who underwent extensive surgery for bowel disease, received a standing ovation when introduced to the crowd in The Dome. She told The Kerryman that she was having an unbelievable time in Tralee and despite heading home on Saturday was looking forward to watching the Roses on TV.

"I've had such a great time and this is amazing," she said of her appearance at the Rose Ball. "I came here with my mom, dad and sister and it's been a dream come true."

Colleen has had her share of difficulties, suffering from ulcerated colitis and having her large intestine removed to be replaced with a bag for life but, nonetheless, she is proud to have overcome the obstacles and is now 'doing great.'

As part of her VIP weekend with the Roses, Colleen enjoyed a shopping trip, getting her hair and make-up done and, of course, being the special guest at the Rose Ball. The Kilkenny teenager admitted that she certainly has dreams of becoming a Rose contestant in the future.

Kare4Kidz and the Share a Dream Foundation thanked the local businesses who sponsored Colleen's trip - the fourth year of co-operation between the charities.


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