Joan, Shane's mother, shares his story
He loved play station, Manchester United was his favourite team, and he also followed Celtic. He was involved in both communities as he grew older, he went to summer camp and was part of the football team in Moyross, and he was active in the church in Catherdavin also in the club for teenagers.
He went to Nissan secondary school and continued to be the school clown always laughing and joking with his friends. As I was separated, Shane became the man of the house. We often fought like husband and wife getting into arguments about his sister Ciara, he was like her dad caring for her when I was unable to as I was going through a tough time during my separation, it was Shane who pulled me through those hard times. He was so mature for his age of 12 yrs at the time. I felt so guilty leaving such responsibility on him, but also knew in my heart it gave him such pleasure in doing the manly things.
On the 13th June Shane was diagnosed with Ewing sarcoma. He took it so well, looking straight at the doctor he asked was he going to die. He was just coming up to his thirteenth birthday in July 2001, I was devastated I couldn't take it in, my nephew had cancer at the tender age of 11 years. Outside the hospital Shane consoled his dad, the roles become reversed, and I looked at his dad as if he was the child and Shane the parent. He wrapped his arms around me telling me I am going to be ok Mom. He had strong faith in God, I am not saying that he didn't have doubts he did. He would often wonder where God is. How can God allow this to happen, he wasn't so much worried about himself he couldn't take it in when he saw children younger than himself with cancer. I asked him one day 'why aren't you angry or why didn't you feel sorry for yourself? ' and he replied, ' I don't feel sorry for myself I lived my life' (pointing to the younger children) 'they haven't Mom, they will never get to do things I got to do'. I felt so ashamed of myself because I was angry and I also felt sorry for myself.
Shane got intensive treatment but the cancer spread through his delicate body, it had no mercy, it travelled through his body so aggressively. People prayed night and day for Shane, people even across the world were praying for him. On the 9th July we went to Fanore to a charismatic conference. We were very involved in prayer groups, Shane looked frail and weak but his spirit was strong. He spoke words of wisdom that blew my mind away. When I told him that he might die he took it very well and accepted it so well. It was as if he knew all the time and nearly in a hurry to get to heaven. He was reading his bible and praying in his bedroom the night we spoke about the possibility about him dying. He told me that night 'this man Jesus is the greatest man ever, that his love for us was so great. I would love to meet him one day'. He said it with such conviction. I felt Shane was ready to go and meet this wonder man Jesus that died for Shane. Shane strengthened my faith, I did resent Shane for being so positive, so accepting and so in love with God. I felt you can't leave me Shane not intentionally. We loved each other so much we even argued over who loved who more, again Shane won the argument it was settled Shane loved me more.
Shane never made it home from Fanore, he went to Milford Hospice in Limerick. They cared for him so well, he continued to keep up his sense of humour still smiling, joking and laughing with everyone, He died at 4.55am Friday morning on the 19th July 2002 just after his fourteenth birthday 6th July. My hope is to raise awareness about this cancer, also some money for research, I do thank God for Shane and the opportunity to help others. I know deep down Shane, would have wanted me to help others because when he was alive that is what he did, he cared for others. Thank you my love for teaching me so much and sharing your short life with me, Ciara and your dad.