A granddad from County Limerick will be jumping out of a plane this weekend in honour of his late wife and to raise valuable funds for charity. Michael Sheahan (78) is hoping to raise €10,000 for aneurysm research by fulfilling one of his lifelong dreams- to go skydiving.
So far, the veteran businessman has raised nearly €7,500 from various fundraisers organised by his family and friends.Mr Sheahan said that he was overwhelmed and grateful for all of the support the community has given him so far.
“A lady I’ve known for years, who can barely spare a penny, gave me €10 and I could barely hold back the tears,” he said.
It’s just over a year ago since his wife Evelyn died of a brain aneurysm. She was only 67-years-old.The couple had been married for 47 years and Mr Sheahan is adamant that before that day on July 31 2013, his wife was the fittest lady in the county.
“We live in Dooradoyle in Limerick and Evelyn would have no problem walking 5km in and out of town every day, most of the time with a grandchild in a buggy,” he added.
Evelyn and Michael first met in 1955, but there was a 10-year age gap, so they didn’t get together for nearly two decades.Despite the difference in age, the pair were inseparable and he admitted that he sometimes thinks she’s waiting at home for him after a day at work.
“When I started my business 29 years ago I was very stressed, but one morning Evelyn turned to me and said ‘I love you and I’ll live at the side of the road with you if I have to’. She always knew what to say and we never went anywhere without holding hands. I miss that a lot,” he added.
He hopes that some of the money donated to the Adrienne Hussey Foundation at the University of Limerick can be used to dedicate a part of the research programme to his late wife. Mr Sheahan is well known in Limerick, as he continues to deliver meat to various supermarkets in the town, but he was still surprised that his story was picked up on the Today FM Ray Darcy Show.
One of his granddaughters, Grace Sheahan (17) texted the show, letting them know what her grandfather was about to do and his appearance on yesterday’s show started his national campaign. Grace will join her granddad on Saturday at the Irish Parachute Club in Edenderry, along with the rest of his family of five sons and ten grandchildren.
Anyone can give money to the cause by logging on to idonate.ie and just by simply searching Mr Sheahan's name.