'We're overwhelmed' – four children left orphaned by coronavirus thank public as fundraiser raises over €200K

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FOUR children left orphaned by Covid-19 have been “overwhelmed” by the generosity of strangers who donated to a fundraiser in their aid.

iguel Plangca, who was originally from the Philippines, passed away from the virus last week, leaving behind his children Mikee (21), Michael (19), John (14) and Chekie (12).

Their mother Gilceria passed away from Cancer in 2015. Mikee shared the story of the family’s heartbreak with Independent.ie on Tuesday and since then a GofundMe page set up to support her and her siblings has raised over €200,000.

“We are overwhelmed by the donations,” Mikee told Independent.ie.

“Complete strangers have given money to help us. These are people who don’t know us and we are grateful to them all. We have been left stunned by the amount of help we have been offered and we want everyone to know how much it means t us.”

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Mikee Plangca holds a photograph of her father Miguel who was a factory worker and lost his life to Covid-19, leaving Mikee, and her 3 siblings, orphans. Photo: Frank McGrath

Mikee Plangca holds a photograph of her father Miguel who was a factory worker and lost his life to Covid-19, leaving Mikee, and her 3 siblings, orphans. Photo: Frank McGrath

Mikee Plangca holds a photograph of her father Miguel who was a factory worker and lost his life to Covid-19, leaving Mikee, and her 3 siblings, orphans. Photo: Frank McGrath

Mikee Plangca holds a photograph of her father Miguel who was a factory worker and lost his life to Covid-19, leaving Mikee, and her 3 siblings, orphans. Photo: Frank McGrath

Mr Plangca had been living in Naas, Co Kildare for the last 20 years and regularly sent money home to his family in the Philippines.

After his wife died the couple’s four children came to live with him in Co Kildare. Mr Plangca also had a daughter Stephanie from a previous relationship.

‘My father made a decision many years ago to come here to provide for us,” said Mikee.

“He left so we could stay in the Philippines and have a better quality of life. Every month he sent money home to us. We were like many other families in the Philippines who had a parent in another country working to provide. Then when my mother died, we came here to Ireland to live with him.”

Mr Plangca became ill with a cough and a temperature in March. He was later admitted to hospital where he spent 41 days in ICU.

Last year, the Green Isle pizza manufacturing site in Naas where Miguel worked was bought over by Birdseye. Colleagues at the plant, where Miguel worked night shifts, remember him as a kind and gentle colleague. When he recently became ill, the local Filipino community stepped in to look after his young family.

Mr Plangca became an Irish citizen in 2015 and his children resided in Ireland as his dependents.

“We want to stay here in Ireland because this is now our home but we don’t know what will happen,” said Mikee.

“It’s what we want, especially for my brother, Michael, who has special needs. We have friends here and we are part or a community.”

The children plan to use the funds raised for their future education.

“That’s what our dad would have wanted,” said Mikee.

“That’s why he came here, to earn money so we could get an education and have a better life.”

Donations can be made at https://www.gofundme.com/f/kuya-miguel-plangca039s-funds-for-his-treasures

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Source: Irish News