United States soldier made desperate appeal to ‘bring Ireland’ to his sick mother

Ailing Irish American mother with some of her gifts

An American soldier who is serving in Afghanistan made an appeal on Reddit a month ago beseeching users on how he could help “bring Ireland” to his terminally ill mother. The response was overwhelming, and the user’s mother is now enjoying a much improved diagnosis.

TheJournal.ie reports on the inspiring story that originated on Reddit about a month ago. Just two weeks before shipping out for Afghanistan, the soldier’s mother was diagnosed with terminal pancreatic cancer. While he attempted to drop his deployment to stay home, his mother insisted that he go and fulfill his duties.

Growing up, the soldier remembered hearing stories from his grandparents about the family’s ancestral home of Shannon. As luck would have it, his journey to Afghanistan included a layover in Shannon Airport - a typical refueling site for American military planes.

In his post on Reddit, user Jay-Bob wrote of his layover in Shannonairport while he was enroute for duty in Afghanistan: “Once I told her [his mother] I was in Shannon, she broke down and cried, I was gutted, she is the strongest person I know. I asked her what was wrong, and she refreshed my memory about poppa, and how now, even she will never see Shannon. She sounded defeated, which is a side I never expected.”

His phone call with his mother left him feeling that sending a souvenir shamrock trinket from the airport was cheesy, which led him to post the question, “If I cant [sic] bring my mom to Ireland, to Shannon, how can I bring Ireland to her? What can I do?” 

The response was quick, positive and plenty. Other users shared positive thoughts, some mailed Irish gifts to his ailing mother, and a Mass was even offered in Dublin for her.

The effect was profound. Jay-Bob posted an update on Wednesday about his mother’s prognosis: “My mother just went to her first scan after chemo. She has had considerable shrinkage in all of her tumors, some have even disappeared. Her blood markers for cancer went from over 5500 to under 250. Her initial prognosis of 3 months has been extended to well over a year. I call it the luck of the Irish. Between the folks in Ireland and the family back home, my mam has been on cloud 9.”

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