Sunday 22 April 2018

'I'm making you a promise... I will watch over those kids' - campaign to raise funds for children who lost both parents within weeks

Finn, Keeva and Erin Stewart in a photo from the family album. Photo: PA
Finn, Keeva and Erin Stewart in a photo from the family album. Photo: PA

David Young

Friends of a husband and wife who died from cancer within weeks of each other are driving an online funding campaign to help secure the future of their three young children.

Karen Nicholson Stewart died just over a week ago at the age of 36 after a long battle with the disease.

That was two months after her childhood sweetheart Ed Stewart (42) lost his fight with pancreatic cancer.

Mr Stewart was only diagnosed with the condition in May.

Family are now taking care of the Dublin couple's three children - Erin (4) Finn (8) and Keeva (10).

Stacey Hogg and Maureen Osayi, the couple's friends, had already set up a GoFundMe page when carer Karen, from Darndale, and Ed, a Donaghmede bus driver, were dealing with their terminal diagnoses.

Karen Nicholson Stewart and Ed Stewart receiving chemotherapy. Photo: PA
Karen Nicholson Stewart and Ed Stewart receiving chemotherapy. Photo: PA

The aim was to help the couple create memories with their children before they died. It raised in excess of €45,000, but the rapid decline of their conditions meant they had no real time to benefit from it.

Their friends have now pledged to keep the fundraising efforts going to generate a trust fund for the children. Mrs Osayi said she gave Ms Nicholson Stewart a promise to look out for them.

"I spoke to Karen in September, I said, 'This GoFundMe page is still active, do you want me to keep it going for the children?'" she said.

"She said, 'Please do, they are going to need schooling, going to need an education'. I said 'I'm making you a promise that for as long as I live, I will watch over those kids'."

Karen Nicholson Stewart and Ed Stewart. Photo: PA
Karen Nicholson Stewart and Ed Stewart. Photo: PA

Mrs Osayi praised how the couple's families have rallied round the three children.

"The emotional support is massive, you have never seen a community like this," she said.

"Karen's family and Ed's are absolutely unreal - they are dedicated to protect those children.

"It's unreal when you see them together, for two families to be that united. These people are absolutely amazing."

For more information or to donate, log on to www.gofundme.com/karenandedsmemories

Irish Independent

Today's news headlines, directly to your inbox every morning.

Editor's Choice

Also in Irish News