Sunday 24 February 2019

'She was extraordinarily caring' - Stylist Lisa Burgess reveals late Alli MacDonnell was helping her through cancer treatment

Alli MacDonnell and Lisa Burgess
Alli MacDonnell and Lisa Burgess
Alli MacDonnell Photo: Facebook
Sadness: Alli MacDonnell was a mother to four children. Picture: Patrick O'Leary
Conor Feehan

Conor Feehan

An Irish stylist who has been helped through her recent cancer treatment by charity campaigner and model Alli MacDonnell has paid an emotional tribute to her after the news of her sudden death was announced on Monday evening.

Alli, a mother of four (37) from Rathfarnham, died tragically on Monday.

In recent years she fronted campaigns for Autism Ireland after her younger son was diagnosed with the condition.

Stylist Lisa Burgess, who now lives in Spain, met Alli during her work as a stylist with TV3 over a decade ago.

Alli MacDonnell Photo: Facebook
Alli MacDonnell Photo: Facebook

“She was wickedly funny, naughty, full of mischief and extraordinarily caring and compassionate. She was an extraordinary mother and lived for her kids and her wonderful family,” she said.

“Alli was a wonderful home cook who would whisk up her famous Alliolio at a moment's notice,” she remembered fondly.

“Her sudden and tragic death has left me bereft of my best friend, my grief has no bounds. God gave me my cancer diagnosis recently but he doubled down by taking my angel away too soon,” Lisa added.

“Alli was always there by my side for the good and the bad times. She was the most honest and loyal friend I have had. We had so many laughs together.

“As a stylist and model people thought we led ultra glamorous lives. In reality we would be sitting in our pyjamas listening to music and putting the world to rights. Alli was extraordinarily intelligent and strong. A real Irish mammy in every sense of the word,” she remembered.

“I had chemo recently. As always Alli would be sending me funny messages to keep my spirits up. She was positive and upbeat and her last message to me in recent days was "I love thee xxxx".

“Alli had the ability to see humor in the most dire situation. We were planning a holiday after my chemo to celebrate in grand style,” said Lisa.

“Alli would help anybody in need. Her home and heart was open to anybody struggling.

“Every charity who asked for help got it. She was a passionate voice for autism. She managed to balance work, charity and mothering four children with aplomb. I admired this greatly.

“She faced the challenges of autism head on and helped many with unseen work,” she explained.

“My thoughts and prayers are with Alli's mother Imelda and her entire family, especially her four children. My cancer won't allow me to say a final goodbye as I am unable to travel.

“It has been agreed that with her family and work colleagues we will organise a memorial to Alli. This memorial will be in honor of the most beautiful woman inside and out I had the privilege to know,” she concluded.

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