Sunday 17 December 2017

'Maureen, a wonderfully, funny, legend of a woman' - Late Late viewers hugely inspired by terminally ill mum's wit and positive attitude

Maureen Allman on The Late Late Show
Maureen Allman on The Late Late Show
Aoife Kelly

Aoife Kelly

A Galway mum facing terminal cancer shared her story on Friday night's Late Late Show and viewers were hugely inspired by her wit and positive attitude.

Maureen Allman (51) from Moycullen contacted the show last week through the Galway Hospice and sent a video (below) to Ryan Tubridy, outlining why she wanted to appear on the show.

The brave mum was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer two and a half years ago and her condition is now terminal as she has developed tumours in her liver.

However, she said she's not ready to give up on life just yet.

"I'm terminally ill but I'm not just dying yet," she told host Ryan Tubridy.  "I have a terminal diagnosis.  Death is on the horizon but I only intend dying once.  That's it, end of story, so I have no intention of dying every morning when I wake up.  It's all about living my life."

On January 5 2014, Maureen was told she was terminally and ill and just as she arrived home from hospital she received a phone call to return as her blood sugars were sky high and she was also suffering from diabetes.

"I just said [to the doctor], 'You tell me this morning I'm terminally ill and now you take all the good out of life by telling me I've diabetes!  Could you be any crueller?'"

Once she returned from hospital, Maureen, who has never been married and is mum to daughter Sinead, decided to buy herself an engagement ring.

"I decided I was 49 years of age, I had pancreatic cancer, I didn't have anybody permanently in my life, I'd never really had any major desire to get married, but I decided if everybody else can have an engagement ring I can have one too!"

She then had 6 months of chemotherapy after which she booked a Mediterranean cruise.

"It was absolutely the best holiday I've had in my life!" she laughed as she revealed she's going on another - to act as babysitter on her daughter and son in law's honeymoon.

Maureen was not finished indulging in life's luxuries on her return and went and bought herself a Jaguar XF.

When jokingly asked by Ryan about her mother spending her inheritance, Sinead said, "I don't mind.  I've told her since the word go not to be hanging on to your money, I'd rather you spend it while you're still here and don't be leaving it for me and my husband and my child.  We're okay."

Speaking about her death, Maureen said, "Being honest I'm in a place where I'm actually very accepting of what's going on and I really want everybody around me to be accepting of what's going on as well."

She added, "For me, when I got the terminal diagnoses it was a huge privilege because it gave me time, but for me it also gave me a responsibility to try and make sure that I make things as easy for those that are going to be left behind."

Maureen appealed for people to support Galway Hospice.  You can catch her full interview on the RTE Player.

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