‘There’s only so much sitting around and crying you can do, and then you’ve got to try and get on with life’

FORMER TIPPERARY ALL-Ireland hurling winner Paddy Stapleton has described as ‘humbling’ the reaction to the fundraising efforts his family have embarked upon in aid of his sister Amanda, who was recently diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumour.

Former Tipperary hurler Paddy Stapleton in Borris-Ileigh yesterday.

Source: Piaras Ó Mídheach/SPORTSFILE

The response from former Tipperary team-mates and Kilkenny opponents has particularly struck Stapleton, with playing greats from the two counties set to compete in a charity match in Borris-Ileigh on Saturday 3 November. 

Tipperary and Kilkenny played out a series of thrilling clashes when they contested the All-Ireland decider four times between 2009 and 2014.

Two of the very best to pick up a Hurley togging out one last time @TipperaryGAA @KilkennyCLG

The Legends Return November 3rd Borrisoleigh. Limited tickets available. Tickets can be purchased at any Centra Stores or on https://t.co/qJNcubt2nZhttps://t.co/CbUf9q74mw pic.twitter.com/bKvUYFGOhY

— Amanda Stapleton Benefit Fund (@AmandaFund) October 17, 2018

Source: Amanda Stapleton Benefit Fund/Twitter

“With a rivalry like that comes a lot of respect and there is certainly respect coming from Tipperary, way down the road.

“Paul Murphy would be very connected to Amanda from her boyfriend’s side and that’s how the connection came.

“He said that anyone who could be there was going to be there and he got a great reaction. We certainly know some of the all-time great names of hurling in Kilkenny and Tipperary will be there on the night.

“It is very tough, especially when the news broke to us first it was very, very hard. But I suppose there’s only so much sitting around and crying you can do, and then you’ve got to try and get on with life and certainly that’s what Amanda is trying to do.

“People have been constantly calling and texting. Even businesses are just rallying around and it’s not easy being in rural Ireland having a business but they’re trying to put as much stuff forward for us as possible. So it’s fantastic and very humbling.”

Tipperary hurler Patrick Bonner Maher is partaking in the Westport Sea2Summit adventure race in order to fundraise for the cause.

A leader of leaders 👏 thanks for everything Bonner. https://t.co/SY79hcjoJH

— Paddy Stapleton (@pasaint) October 19, 2018

Source: Paddy Stapleton/Twitter

“I’m not shocked at him (Bonner) because I know what he’s like, I’ve been around him for so many years and he’s just such a great human being,” says Stapleton.

“But to think people are thinking about you all the time like that and the goodwill of them is unreal and very humbling.”

The North Tipperary Hospice, Suir Haven Cancer Support Centre in Thurles and Cois Nore in Kilkenny are all charities that the fundraiser is endeavouring to support.

“The jerseys that are being worn on the night are being sold as well and that’s not to help the fund, that’s just specifically for the charities.

“Obviously we want to look after Amanda but there are other people struggling in the world as well and we’d love to help them as well.

“I think everyone has someone who has been affected by cancer. Everybody knows a friend or family member and you can feel that, people’s genuine concern when you meet them. 

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“Every family goes through a crisis or maybe some health issues, but we hadn’t really much in our lifetime and we are both in our 30’s. 

“It has been massive mentally for ourselves and for Amanda, because she’s certainly doing well at the minute and I think it’s in no small part due to other people and how good they’ve been to her.”

Eoin Murphy and Brendan Cummins at yesterday’s launch of the Amanda Stapleton Benefit Match.

Source: Piaras Ó Mídheach/SPORTSFILE

His sister’s mental resilience has struck Paddy and she is planning to travel home for the event in Borris-Ileigh.

“She is talking about doing the walk, the club colour walk or run that morning and she is all on for taking part in that as well so she’s tougher than your average. It will obviously be a bit emotional, but she is really looking forward to it.

“She is strong at the minute, relative to what she should be. I think it’s down to her attitude and her resilience. I’ve met a lot of mentally tough people playing sports, but what I’ve seen from Amanda in the last few weeks has been unreal, because it’s something to wake up with every day.

“Her and her boyfriend are just doing so well. And they are away from home – you can’t forget that they are in London. They have their friend network over there but they are being so strong about it.”

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Tickets for the Amanda Stapleton Benefit Match between Kilkenny and Tipperary on Saturday 3 November are available to purchase here.

 

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