A DUBLIN teenager who raised more than €3,000 for charity only to see it stolen from her family home is determined to continue fundraising for cancer research.
Nicole Palmer (18) organised a pub quiz, worked bag-packing in Tesco and even shaved her head to raise funds for the Irish Cancer Society after her 16-year-old friend Helen died from the disease in October last year.
Last Thursday evening, Nicole's family came home shortly after 9pm to find the house had been ransacked and the charity money stolen.
The Cabra native said the money was in envelopes with "Irish Cancer Society written all over it".
"The money was placed inside the actual sponsor cards and some of the coins were in bags inside the charity buckets so they knew exactly what it was," a distraught Nicole told the Herald.
"They have taken money from people who have a serious illness.
"They could be affected by this themselves in the future, even though I hope not.
"I don't know how this will make them feel - it is just disgusting."
The teenager, who also lost three of her grandparents to cancer, said she had always wanted to raise money for such an important charity.
She said she suspects the thieves knew the money was in her family's home in Faussagh Avenue as her fundraising efforts had been well publicised locally.
"I was so upset ringing the Irish Cancer Society on Friday, it was devastating," said Nicole.
"I wasn't crying at first, it was only when I started explaining and said I had over €3,000 that I started crying.
"They were lovely. I asked for extended time and they told me, 'whenever you are ready'. They told me the main thing was that no one got hurt."
Donations towards Nicole's efforts can be made to the Irish Cancer Society on 1850 606060.