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People of Cork rally to help mum with terminal cancer to make memories with young family

Orla Flavin was diagnosed with lung cancer just eight weeks ago
Orla on her wedding day

Orla on her wedding day

Clodagh Meaney

The people of Cork have rallied to help a young mother diagnosed with terminal cancer so she can create magical memories with her family.

Orla Flavin, who is in her 40s had six miscarriages before being blessed with two daughters who are now two and three years old.

She was diagnosed with terminal lung cancer on both lungs just eight weeks ago, and found out that it is inoperable.

The Cobh woman felt unwell thinking she had chest and upper respiratory infections since May of this year, but after her doctor referred her for a scan in September, she was given the tragic news.

Her condition is incurable and inoperable, and doctors are not able to tell her how long she has left.

Appearing on the Neil Prendeville Show on Red FM initially to take part in a debate about whether or not babies and young children should be brought to visit Santa Claus, Orla ended up telling her devastating story.

While one parent was against bringing young children to see the man in red, as kids won’t remember it, Orla said that some parents, such as herself, just want to make memories with their children while they can.

“We don’t know when our last Christmas will be, and so for us now, it’s all about making memories and taking these photographs, having photographs of me with the kids," she said.

While on the show, Orla expressed her desire to renew her wedding vows with her husband on their 14th wedding anniversary in March 2022.

Later in the week Orla was invited back onto the programme where she was surprised with a wedding to beat all weddings.

After touching the hearts of people across the county, the people of Cork rallied together to help make her Christmas wish come true.

Through tears, Orla was delighted to hear that many businesses across the City had offered their products and services to help give her a very special day.

Her dream wedding was organised within less than a day, complete with flowers, hair and make-up, photography, videography, entertainment, decorations, a wedding cake, bridal wear, suits, and a venue.

She was also surprised with an overnight stay at a hotel in Cork, a Christmas family photo shoot, Christmas dinner, a private visit with Santa and tickets to see the Pantomime Aladdin in Cork.

Through tears she thanked the station and the people in her community for giving her daughters the opportunity to make incredible memories with her and her husband.

For now, Orla is planning to spend Christmas with her family while taking an oral chemotherapy tablet of which the only purpose is to help her lead a life that’s as normal as possible.

“My plans for as many Christmases as I have will be to have Christmas at home in our house. It’ll be my husband, my mom and myself and my two children," she said.

The young mum will renew her vows with husband Neil on March 12th 2022.


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