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GoFundMe set up for Irish mother-of-five with terminal cancer who fought to abolish hospital charges

GoFundMe set up for Irish mother-of-five with terminal cancer who fought to abolish hospital charges

A GoFundMe has been set up for a mother-of-five who fought to abolish hospital inpatient charges for cancer patients.

45-year-old Linda Burnett-Bowdler from Dublin, who worked as a child protection officer for Tusla, has been living with stage four bowel cancer since July 2021.

Speaking on Newstalk in September, Linda revealed that her incurable cancer diagnosis had placed severe strain on the family's finances.

"I got a medical card for six months, but when I returned to work I lost it," she said.

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"The oncology team have been amazing and has a plan in place, but if I have to stay overnight that's an €80 charge. I receive chemotherapy at home during weekends, which means I have to pay for associated medications such as steroids and anti-sickness tablets. If one of my kids needs to see a doctor that's another €55.

β€œYour cancer journey often doesn’t go exactly how you expect it to. I found the not knowing the most difficult part of it all; it has really affected my mental health."

Linda added a heartbreaking detail: "My daughter wants to go gymnastics. That's €180 per term, but I can't afford that. Imagine going to your daughter and telling her you can't do this β€” we can't afford to pay for this. It's not just about me but it's the whole ripple effect it has on your family. You feel the guilt because everyone life's around you has changed because you have cancer.

"Cancer doesn’t knock on your door two years before your diagnosis and tell you to start saving some money for what is about to happen."

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Linda's interview garnered national attention in the weeks that followed, with several individuals even coming forward and offering to pay for her daughter's gymnastics classes.

The heroic mother also spoke out about the financial strain a cancer diagnosis can place on a family in the national press and through her podcast Just The Twomor of Us.

The reaction to Linda's powerful story has had far-reaching implications. Two weeks after her powerful radio interview, the government abolished €80 a day inpatient charges as part of Budget 2023. The €360 million decision is set to come into effect in April 2023.

Now, a friend of Linda's has created a GoFundMe page to help pay for Linda's remaining medical bills so she can "fully focus on getting better" and "improve her diagnosis."

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To date, €2,070 of the €5,000 goal has been raised.

You can donate whatever you can right here.

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