A CHESTER dad, who has spent the past year raising funds and awareness for the hospice that cared for his dying daughter, has been nominated for a Trinity Mirror/ScottishPower Your Champions Award 2011.
Dave O’Brien’s daughter Libby died aged two at Claire House Hospice in August 2009 after she was diagnosed with Ewing’s sarcoma cancer.
“The care shown to Libby during her last eight days was nothing short of excellent,” said Dave.
“But much more than that was the care shown to us all as a family during what was an extremely distressing time.
“The most important aspect of this time was that Libby’s medical needs were completely taken care of. This allowed my wife Pip and I, and our son Ben, the unforgettable opportunity to be nothing more than her mummy, daddy and brother.”
Since New Year’s Eve 2010, Dave, a law enforcement officer from Hoole, has raised £13,114 for the Bebbington hospice by pledging to give up alcohol for a year.
Now just under 100 days to go before Dave completes his ‘dry challenge’, he said he is overwhelmed by people’s generosity.
He said: “Social media has been great because it’s not like the old days where you would get your family and friends to sponsor you, you can reach a wider audience.
“People who I don’t even know have seen my messages on Twitter and the video I made for Libby’s funeral and have donated to my fund for Claire House.”
Dave added: “Some people climb a mountain, swim the channel or walk the length of the country to raise money for a charity that is close to their heart.
“Because of a dodgy knee, a busy family life and because of my regular sociable alcohol consumption, I decided to give up all alcohol and get on the wagon for 2011 in aid of Claire House.
“This has so far proved to be a massive personal challenge, particularly as it has been a busy year for parties, including my annual Dublin tour, the royal wedding and not forgetting my 40th birthday!
“But I haven’t touched a drop since New Year’s Eve last year and will continue right up until this New Year’s Eve, when we are planning a fundraising party.
“I am now dedicated to raising as much money as possible for Claire House in Libby’s memory.
“It would be great if anyone reading this could donate the price of a glass of wine or a beer to go toward the £13,114 raised so far for the hospice.”
Dave was nominated for our Person of the Year award by an anonymous reader who wrote: “Dave is an inspiration. To go through what he has been through is unimaginable and yet he has found the strength to raise money and awareness of such a great cause so close to his heart.”
To sponsor Dave, visit http:// uk.virginmoneygiving.com/daveobrien. You can follow his progress on Twitter @noboozedaveob.