Northern Ireland Chest Heart & Stroke
Isabel and Colin’s Story

Clogher couple raise £4,000 in aid of NICHS after finding love…

When Isabel and Colin Gilmore got married recently, they chose to mark their special celebration by not only providing their guests with wedding favours in lieu of Northern Ireland Chest Heart & Stroke, but also by asking guests to make a donation to the charity instead of purchasing a gift for the newly wed couple.

The couple tied the knot in an intimate ceremony in Rathmullan Presbyterian Church, Co. Donegal, on 31st March 2014, a poignant date for both of them. It marked not only the start of the rest of their lives together but also what would have been Isabel’s parents’ 49th Wedding Anniversary. Later that year the couple held a wedding celebration for family and friends, closer to home, in Corick House Hotel, Clogher.

Isabel lost her father, Edward very suddenly in 1979 when he suffered a massive coronary. Edward was only 54 years old at the time. Isabel and her mum Elizabeth were absolutely devastated; however the two ladies began putting their energy into something very positive and began fundraising for Northern Ireland Chest Heart & Stroke. Unfortunately, however, Isabel endured further heartbreak in November 2011 when her dear mum suffered an abdominal aortic aneurysm and passed away unexpectedly.

Isabel & Colin GilmoreIsabel and Colin on their special day.

“We may no longer be able to help my mum and dad physically, but we can do something for others by supporting the care and prevention of these types of conditions and illnesses.”
Isabel

Isabel Gilmore Parents cropped

Isabel’s much loved mother and father, Elizabeth and Edward celebrating their own wedding day on 31st March 1965.

Isabel explained “Both my parents passed away suddenly and the shock in both cases was devastating, but I am so very thankful for their truly wonderful influence and for the huge inspiration they have been to me and will always continue to be”.

It was only in 2011 that Isabel met her husband to be, Colin. At the wedding reception in 2014, Colin recalled how years previous in 1981, he had been involved in an extremely serious car accident which hospitalized him for thirteen weeks. As he was lying in his hospital bed, a lady who had been visiting a patient at the bed opposite came over to say hello. Colin remembered how visitors had been few and far between but this particular lady had stayed with Colin for a lengthy time to chat and keep him company – something which he was very grateful for. As she got up to leave, she asked Colin’s age. When he replied that he was 19, she explained she had a daughter who was 14 and that he’d be perfect for her but then they both agreed she might be a little young for him, at present! The lady then went on her way. Colin did not see her again until Isabel showed him a picture of her mother who had passed away. Colin was shocked and amazed to see it was the same lovely lady who had sat down to keep him company at his hospital bed all those years ago.

Isabel’s parents have been a major inspiration to her throughout her life and after hearing Colin’s story of how he had met her mother, the couple were determined that a lasting tribute to both Isabel’s parents’ memories would be a central part of their wedding celebration.

“Not only is NICHS a charity which is very close to our hearts, it was also important to Mum. We may no longer be able to help my mum and dad physically, but we can do something for others by supporting the care and prevention of these types of conditions and illnesses. Knowing that we could do something in memory of Mum and Dad at a very special – yet poignant – time in our lives, made our wedding celebration so much more meaningful to us.”

Isabel and Colin Gilmore

Colin and Isabel handing over the generous sum of £4,000 raised through donations in lieu of wedding favours and donations from guests.

Following Isabel and Colin’s special celebration, the couple handed over a cheque adding up to the fantastic amount of £4,000 to Northern Ireland Chest Heart & Stroke. NICHS would like to express our thanks to Isabel and Colin for their generous efforts in raising this amount and for sharing their beautiful story.

If you’d like find out more about how you could celebrate your wedding celebration by making a donation to NICHS in lieu of wedding favours, please click here. If you’d like more information on fundraising for NICHS through an anniversary, birthday or any other celebration, please contact the community team on events@nichs.org.uk or 028 9032 0184 or click here.

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