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Dublin GAA clubs helping mum complete final wish list for her ‘amazing’ son Calvin

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Calvin celebrates his 21st birthday with mum Flo after the party was postponed due to the pandemic

Calvin celebrates his 21st birthday with mum Flo after the party was postponed due to the pandemic

Calvin celebrates his 21st birthday with mum Flo after the party was postponed due to the pandemic

A Dublin mother has compiled a wish list for her “amazing” son after being told he is approaching the end of his young life.

Flo Roche, from Poppintree in Ballymun, has vowed to make the most of every day she has left with her youngest son Calvin (22), who was born with a mental and physical disability.

The mother-of-four said Calvin’s health has deteriorated in recent months and she became concerned when he started sleeping up to 18 hours a day.

“We knew from day one we were facing a lot of problems with Calvin,” she said. “He was tube-fed from five months and has been ever since.

“He has never spoken and has epilepsy, autism and severe scoliosis of the spine.

“When we brought him to the hospital for tests six weeks ago, we were shocked to be told he is coming to the end of his life.

“Unfortunately for young men and women like Calvin, they reach a peak in their lives and then start declining.”

Flo said while she was “devastated” by the news, doctors don’t know how much time Calvin has left.

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Calvin's family aim to make the most of their time left with him

Calvin's family aim to make the most of their time left with him

Calvin's family aim to make the most of their time left with him

“As long as he has breath in his body, I’ll keep on going – he hasn’t left me yet,” she said.

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“As a family, we’ve decided to pick ourselves up and make as many happy memories with Calvin as possible in the time we have left with him.”

Flo, whose husband John died suddenly at home last December, has now drawn up a wish list of activities she knows Calvin will enjoy.

“The whole family are coming up with ideas,” she said. “We recently brought him to Tayto Park and we’re going to Spain with him in three weeks.

“My ultimate wish would be for Calvin to visit his oldest brother Keith in Australia, even if it’s only for a week.

“We also want to re-do things we know he responds well to. I have three beautiful granddaughters who are extremely close to Calvin, so we are trying to involve everyone.”

Last week, Calvin belatedly celebrated his 21st birthday, which had been postponed due to Covid-19, surrounded by family and friends.

Flo said her son is mostly confined to a wheelchair and she has been his main carer all his life.

“We’ve never got any respite or care from outside the house and have done everything ourselves,” she said.

“We will never give up on Calvin, no matter what’s thrown in our path – we’ve too much love to give.”

Two local GAA clubs – Ballymun Kickhams and Setanta – have joined forces to help raise funds for Calvin’s wish list and will host a 5km walk in Poppintree Park on Sunday, August 21, at 5pm.

“The Ballymun community have been second to none throughout Calvin’s life – they are just amazing,” Flo added.

Donations can be made to the fundraising page here


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