Mark and Lucy Keoghan, an Irish couple who now live and work in the UK with their three young children, are raffling their “dream home” in Co Kilkenny to help fund their 7-year-old daughter’s cancer battle while also donating proceeds to charity.
Lucy and Mark wrote on the raffle’s website: “Hi everyone and welcome to our raffle page where you can have the chance to win our incredible dream house in Kilkenny, Southern Ireland, whilst at the same time helping to fundraise for Children’s Cancer and Leukaemia Group, a charity that is currently very close to our hearts.
“This year has been tough for everyone having to deal with COVID-19. Unfortunately, we have also had to deal with our 7-year-old little girl Mollie being diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia. A devastating blow for all our family.
“With this life-changing news and plans for our future, we have decided to sell our barn in Ireland. As we are living in unusual times we have decided to sell the barn using an unconventional method……a raffle. Are we mad you may ask….perhaps!!!!
“In order to be in with a chance to win this fantastic life changing prize all you need to do is buy a ticket (or four) at only £5 each.
“In order for the house to be won we need to sell 130,000 tickets. If we don’t meet the target, then as per Raffall’s terms, the draw will still take place and the winner will receive 75% of the ticket revenue as compensation. The charity will also receive their 5% donation … and we will receive NOTHING! However, we do get to keep our house and will also have the opportunity to sell it in a more traditional way.”
As of November 18, the Keoghans had so far sold more than 10,000 tickets in less than five days:
Here’s how the Keoghan family describes the fully-furnished barn property that they’re raffling in Co Kilkenny: “4 bedroom barn style house situated on the side of a hill with stunning views across the countryside and only 8 miles from the medieval city of Kilkenny.
“The Barn, despite its outwardly old appearance, is in fact relatively new constructed by ourselves in 2010/11, using extensive amounts of natural limestone sourced from family land. It also enjoys modern features such as underfloor heating and a pressurised water system fed from the Barns’s own 400ft deep well.
“If you happen to be up early enough you may just see the local deer in the garden who wander in from the adjacent forest.”
Speaking with The Irish Mirror, Mark Keoghan said that his 7-year-old daughter Mollie was diagnosed with leukemia on July 30.
“She was taken to the Queen’s Medical Centre in Nottingham – which is the specialist children’s oncology in the area – and that’s been our life since.
“It’s drugs, hospital visits, blood transfusions – that’s where she is this morning, she can hardly walk this morning. Every month she has to have a blood transfusion because she can’t keep any chemo unless her blood is above a certain level. She had a blood transfusion this morning which she calls her ‘strawberry juice’ and then she comes home all perked up for another month.
“It’s just terrible to see your little daughter go through that and to see her hair fall out, to see her so frail and weak. It’s heartbreaking.”
Of the raffle, Mark said: “Yeah, it was very difficult because it is a lovely house and it was my dream to build the house there and eventually settle down.
“However, life changes and you have to deal with the cards you’re dealt. It wasn’t until Mollie’s diagnosis when we kind of realised that there’s more to life than just bricks and mortar. Life is precious and let’s plan ahead.
“Given the fact that COVID has messed up everything and we don’t know where we’re going to be in a year’s time regarding work and COVID, we thought that we had to act now and sell the house to put the family in a better position because the future is so unpredictable,” he said.
He added: “We’ve seen it over here, it’s become quite a thing. A few years ago., companies started raffling cars and houses for charity. That idea of winning a house or car for £5 usually created more and more of a buzz because people can’t believe it. We wanted to do something that would be different and attention-grabbing too.
“This charity that we’re raising funds for is so close to our hearts and when we realised how much they could do with some funds, we figured out a unique way to help Mollie, raise money, and create awareness of Mollie’s illness. If nothing else, it keeps our heads straight.”
You can learn more about the Keoghan’s raffle on Facebook, Instagram, and the raffle’s web page.