Big-hearted Bernard helps surprise Molly from Balbriggan

by Sylvia Pownall

Cancer battler and Dubs supporter Molly McNally from Balbriggan got to meet her sporting hero Bernard Brogan just days before the biggest day in the GAA calendar.

The unsuspecting ten-year-old from Balbriggan was sitting at her kitchen table with her mam and dad when the 34-year-old casually strolled through the front door.

The Blues face Tyrone in the All-Ireland final on Sunday and Molly thought they were making a video telling how much she was looking forward to the game.

Her dad Gerry (49) told how she’d been diagnosed with a very rare form of cancer in 2013 and underwent almost two years of treatment, including chemotherapy.

He said: “There were a lot of difficult times but when she was able to go to the matches it was brilliant. To get to the game, the joy it brought.”

Despite being diagnosed with Neuroblastoma at the age of five, Molly’s positive attitude saw her through and she was Dubs mascot a year later.

Mum Emma (46), sister Jill (14) and 13-year-old brother James were in on the surprise but Molly was so shocked and overjoyed that she promptly burst into tears.

New dad Bernard met Molly for the first time after the 2014 Leinster Football Final – during the height of her illness – and the two have since built a special bond.

As part of SuperValu’s Behind the Ball initiative, Brogan was tasked with surprising Molly by bringing her for a kickabout in her local club, O’Dwyers GAA.

Making the day even more special was the fact that Molly recently celebrated her tenth birthday – and three years in remission.

After the training session, Bernard said: “The last time I met Molly she was quite sick and so her energy was low. It was great to be able to come back today and celebrate her birthday and see her doing so well.

“To get involved with the local club and take the kids through some SuperValu Take 10 drills was something I couldn’t have imagined the last time we met.

“We’re pals for life and I know she’ll be our biggest supporter when we go out and play against Tyrone this weekend.”

Watch the video here.

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