Light Up a Life has offered great solace and joy to so many people since it began in 1992. Last year, some 27,000 people were lovingly remembered through lights sponsored in their name. In addition a number of companies supported the campaign through generous donations that in turn helped our patients and families.

Now celebrating its 26th year, it is really heart-warming to consider the many thousands of people – patients, relatives, friends, who have been directly affected and benefited from the efforts and generosity of spirit of all those who have been involved throughout the years.

As well as an opportunity to pay tribute to those who meant so much to us, Light Up a Life is the most important annual fundraiser for Our Lady’s Hospice & Care Services – and it’s your participation that makes it so memorable.

Last year, Light Up a Life raised €400,000 for urgent patient services and facilities improvements. Your generous donations directly support our frontline services such as our nurses, physiotherapists and social workers – compassionate staff who provide comfort and dignity to patients and their families as they live out their final days, helping families make the most of their precious time together.

So in sponsoring a light for €6 there is a double benefit to your moving act. In honour of the person you have lost, your gift will be directly improving the treatment and care of patients here in Our Lady’s Hospice & Care Services in Harold’s Cross and Blackrock. If you’re missing someone this Christmas, remember them – in the most magical and moving way. Light up their life. And once you have remembered your own loved ones, take some time to browse through the tributes, photos and stories shared by others.

And, if you work in a company, please consider a Christmas donation to the Hospice by becoming a leading light. Your company’s support will make a real difference and will be recognised and profiled in a number of ways.

Christmas has always been a time to remember loved ones and those close to you. So please, get involved this year and Light the Life of someone special to you.

Thank you.

There is not enough darkness in all the world to put out the light of even one small candle.”

– St Francis of Assisi


The Hospice makes life easier for everyone

Dolores Power, a patient in Our Lady’s Hospice & Care Services is a bubbly, mischievous and incredibly courageous lady. She has been fighting breast cancer for twenty years.

“I had twelve good years, then some not so good, then the last four years I felt constant, unceasing pain. This isn’t what we had planned. It’s very hard, if you can’t accept it.”

Known to her family as the ‘Commander-in-Chief’ Dolores is propped up comfortably on her pillow as she talks. Her daughter Emma, and daughter-in-law Nicola and her son James are visiting, and the sun is beaming through the window.

“The nurses in the hospital didn’t want me to leave and to come to the hospice,” she recalls, a broad smile breaking out across her face. “They thought it was great craic when, after my mastectomy, I was in the swimming pool and one of my fake boobs floated away, and then fake boob number two did too! And another time, there was this poor intern doctor who came to listen to my back. The shock he got when I told him I used to look like Dolly Parton! The nurses said, Dolores, you make us laugh, even when you’re giving out.”

“The Hospice makes life easier for everyone though and that’s what you want at the end of the day.”

“Life’s so short. It only seems like a while ago, my husband Jimmy and I met for the first time. I was sixteen. It was Doyles, the old dance hall in Tallaght. I was from Drimnagh and we all liked to go dancing on a Sunday evening, 8 to 11. You always remember the song playing when you fell in love, ours was Gilbert O’ Sullivan, “Clair”.

“We had three boys, James, Gordon and Anthony, by the time I was 23. It was a busy life, and of course, money was scarce. I worked the twilight shift in a nearby factory, and I always had the boys ready and everything done, so Jimmy could take over and give them their supper, read them a story, and put them to bed.

“Eight years later, Emma was born. I remember, at the moment of giving birth, I looked at her sweet little face, and I said, please let this be a little girl. Ten years ago, when Emma was 21 and living in Australia, I sat on the steps of the Sydney Opera House. I had always wanted to see it and Emma made this wish come true. I cried my eyes out. Now Emma has her own baby, Caragh.

“The main reason for coming to the hospice was so we could have our six grandchildren, Amber, Saoirse, Seana, Liam, Sean and Caragh, with us, there is plenty of room, and no visiting time limits. We can meet our friends who can come and go easily. My special friends, my rocks of strength, can sit with me early morning, or late at night.”

Dolores is content as she reflects on her life and the beautiful family that has filled it with so much love.

“All I can say, is, never prolong a row, even a big row. Kiss and make up. Give time to your kids, and they will give kids to you, in time. We’re married 42 years. Jimmy says I am ‘the entertainer, the life and soul of all parties, the love of his life’, what’s better than that?”