Children whose mum died at 36 keep her legacy alive by raising money to help others
Two Dublin children whose mother died from diabetes complications have been praised for raising hundreds of euro for a charity to help other sufferers.
Valerie Sherlock was just 36 when she died a year ago this week.
Her death left her husband Brian and children Adam (11) and Codie (8) bereft, but the two Sherlock children have both been busy helping raise money for Diabetes Ireland so that other families may not suffer the same loss they have endured.
"They feel it is important to keep Valerie's legacy going. She was a wonderful mother and wife," said Brian (36) from their Balbriggan home.
The couple met in a pub in Santry 17 years ago, and were married for 10 of those years.
"I'm from Whitehall and Valerie was from Beaumont. She was a hairdresser and had managed her diabetes all her life after being diagnosed at one year of age," he explained.
"Valerie was outgoing and full of life, and was active until the day before she became ill. She had been out looking at Dublin beating Kerry in the All-Ireland before she got sick, and then she was in hospital for two weeks before she died.
Brian is thankful to everyone in Balbriggan and north Dublin who gave him and the children support after their loss, especially the Gaelscoil that Adam and Codie attend.
"People I never met were calling to the house offering help. It was incredible.
"The school is incredible. They pulled out all the stops to help the kids, with homework clubs and counselling and everything.
"A family friend, DJ Paul Breen, has a child in Adam's class. He ran a disco in Balbriggan to raise some money and then Adam and Codie got involved and helped organise a football match, raising around €300," said Brian.
"We plan to do a bit more coming up to Christmas," added the former motor trade worker who has become a full-time homemaker since Valerie's death.
"The kids hope to raise more now and we would encourage anyone who wants to help to donate to Diabetes Ireland," he added.
Valerie would have been 37 last Sunday, and on Monday Brian brought his two children to Dardisown cemetery to see her grave.
"Children are very resilient, but their mum did everything with them and they miss her terribly. We all miss her. We are all lost," he said.
"Valerie was very young when she died, and we never believed it could happen, so anything we can do to help others with diabetes is important.
"The house is full of pictures of Valerie. We'll never forget her," he added.