A 57-year old Irish woman from Kiltimagh in Mayo has announced that she’s changing her name to Donald Trump in order to raise funds to help her sick husband battle a terminal lung disease.
According to Helen McDonnell’s crowdfunding page, she’s hoping to raise £30,000 (US$37,800) so that her husband Peter can receive urgent treatment.
The soon-to-be Mrs Donald Trump shared the story of her husband’s illness online, explaining that doctors made the tragic discovery in 2013:
After Peter began getting breathless in the summer of 2013, he was diagnosed with IPF – Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis with honeycombing of the lungs, a terminal lung disease for which there is no known cause and, worse still, no cure. We were told he could expect to survive 3-5 years. The only way to help him live longer is by receiving a double lung transplant.
It’s been over three years since Peter was found to have IPF, which means that he may only have a couple more years left if he doesn’t receive the transplant. Unfortunately, the costs involved in the operation are prohibitive, as Mrs McDonnell explains:
The last 3 years have been a real struggle for Peter, relying on an oxygen machine to do the most ordinary things. As his condition deteriorated, I became not only his carer, but also the sole earner. I’ve had to take leave from my job, exhausted all of our life savings and I’m scared beyond belief that money will be an obstacle to his last chance of life.
Following the life-saving transplant, he’ll need full time care. Countless medical tests and procedures lie ahead, along with visits to surgeons, psychiatrists, social workers and rehab. Travel and accommodation costs alone are currently a real barrier to saving Peter’s life.
Mrs McDonnell’s idea to raise funds for her husband started after her nephew Oliver joked that she should change her name to the winner of the US election. Now that Donald Trump has claimed victory, Mrs McDonnell is working to get her name changed to match the 45th President. “The first stage is going to the High Court, but I am looking into the full process and will be changing it on my all my IDs,” she told local media.
So far, Mrs McDonnell’s crowdfunding campaign has only raised 8% of the target, but her supporters are hopeful that additional media exposure after she changes her name to Trump may help her reach the goal. Some social media users commented that Trump himself may be interested in making a donation to the campaign, given his long history of generosity to charities and worthy causes. “It’s not often that you have the power to save someone’s life,” wrote one Facebook user. “Hopefully Mrs McDonnell can raise enough funds for her husband’s operation.”