Elysha To Honour Local Woman’s Memory With Hospice Fundraiser

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Launching Over The Rainbow with the Rose of Tralee were from left: Kevin Roche, Ciara Murray O'Connor Roche, Carrie O'Connor and Mairead Fernane Maura O'Sullivan and Ted Moynihan of the Kerry Hospice. Photo Gavin O'Connor.

Launching ‘Over The Rainbow’ with the Rose of Tralee were from left: Kevin Roche, Ciara Marie O’Connor Roche, Carrie O’Connor, Mairead Fernane, Maura Sullivan and Ted Moynihan of the Kerry Hospice. Photo Gavin O’Connor.

THE memory of an Abbeydorney native who shared a bond with Rose of Tralee Elysha Brennan, will be honoured, along with others who have passed away from cancer, during the festival.

The outgoing Rose wanted to do something special for Hellen O’Connor Roche, whom she met on a visit to the Palliative Care Unit in the lead up to being crowned Rose of Tralee last September.

Elysha, who has had her own struggles with cancer, struck up a bond with Hellen and remained in touch with her and husband Kevin Roche up until her passing earlier in January this year.

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On Sunday, August 21 at 3pm, the 2015 Rose will rise to the sky in a hot-air balloon in the Town Park in aid of Palliative Care in Kerry.

In what is set to be an eye-catching moment, small balloons that will represent loved ones who passed away from cancer, with a little note attached, will fly up in the air with Elysha who will be in a hot-air balloon.

“Elysha had been speaking to Hellen about planning to do something,” said Kevin Roche, who is originally from Balloonagh Estate, but now living in Killeen Woods. “Because the previous Rose jumped out of a plane into the town park, they were talking about maybe ballooning in might be a nice idea, it developed from there and now it’s happening.”

Hellen was able to fulfill her last wish which was to get married to Kevin before she passed. They did so at a ceremony in the Palliative Care Unit.

“It was a very emotional day. It was very special,” said Kevin speaking of the moment he married Hellen.

Members of Kerry Hospice will be selling balloons in the park with all proceeds going towards the 15 bed Palliative Care Unit in University Hospital Kerry which is currently being constructed.

“I think it’s fantastic, I think it gives people a chance to donate to the Pallitive Care Unit and send a message to a loved one in heaven” said Kevin.

It is hoped that the Palliative Care building will be opened by late 2016 or early next year.

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