'Our minds are blown by the incredible number of donations'; Billy Holland overwhelmed by public support for baby Emmeline campaign

'Our minds are blown by the incredible number of donations'; Billy Holland overwhelmed by public support for baby Emmeline campaign
Billy Holland and Lanlih Keane, with their late daughter Emmeline. 

A FUNDRAISING campaign set up in memory of a six-month-old girl who passed away last year has raised almost €600k after her parents appeared on Friday's Late Late Show.

The show's Crumlin special, which invited viewers to donate by text, has so far raised €120k to go towards vital services at CHI at Crumlin in Dublin, while a GoFundMe campaign set up by Billy Holland and Lanlih Keane has received close to €500k in donations.

Munster rugby player Billy and his wife Lanlih are fundraising for Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital in Crumlin and the children's wards at Cork University Hospital to remember their brave little girl, Emmeline, who passed away last May.

Emmeline, who was born in November 2018, was diagnosed with a heart defect soon after her birth and her parents were given a devastating diagnosis when she was just three weeks old. 

She underwent heart surgery and sadly died a short time later in her mother's arms.

Billy and Lanlih had initially hoped to raise €100,000, and say they have been totally overwhelmed by the public’s response.

Billy Holland said: “Our minds are blown by the incredible number of donations, but more so the kind of heartwarming comments we have received. 

"It’s amazing to see how many people out there are going through something similar now or did so in the past.

"The people of this country have been shown to be so generous. Emmeline was only 6 months old, but she managed to do more than most people will do in a lifetime. 

"We’ll look back in years to come with incredible appreciation for how people have reacted to us telling our personal story.”

Host Ryan Tubridy said that The Late Late Show team were overwhelmed by the generous response.

"There was a sadness and there was a goodness and there was a kindness that happened to us on The Late Late Show on Friday night," he said on RTÉ Radio 1.

"It just felt like there was a spontaneous sense of something beautiful happening in terms of the viewers and guests alike, particularly when we got to Billy Holland and his wife Lanlih and they told us about their daughter Emmeline.

"There was just an extraordinary amount of goodwill. There's something about Irish people when asked and when they believe in a cause, they respond."

"I'm glad to say that Crumlin hospital itself also raised a lot of money on the night. 

"We spoke to families and we spoke to staff and it was just an outpouring of gratitude and a sense of community on the island and I just wanted to say thanks to everyone for being so generous."

:: Donations can be made to the 'Brave like Emmeline Holland' GoFundMe appeal or by texting Crumlin to 50300.

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