Charlie Bird has revealed that he cries when he listens to old messages from Vicky Phelan on his phone.
The former RTE journalist struck up an instant bond with the CervicalCheck campaigner despite only meeting once in person.
In a recent interview, he spoke about being introduced to the mother of two from Limerick and the huge impact it had on him.
‘I messaged someone I knew was a friend of his. The strangest thing happened, a message came up on my WhatsApp of, yes, Vicky, she had heard from someone else that I would love to meet her,’ she told Dublin Live.
‘Anyway, this is how our year-long relationship began. Claire, Tiger and I traveled to her house in Limerick, spent a couple of hours with her.
She had tea and scones ready for us, anyway, long story short, we hit it off like long lost friends. We even joked that we both had glowing eyes.
That was the only time we met in person, but it was the beginning of a great supportive relationship on WhatsApp. Vicky’s kindness to me was remarkable. I still have the messages from her and some of them are voicemails.
‘When I look and listen, they make me cry. His love and kindness left me speechless.’
Last month, Charlie dedicated his award for Biography of the Year at the An Post Book Awards to Vicky.
He wrote on social media: ‘I want to thank everyone for extending the hand of friendship at The An Post Book Awards last night.
‘I am dedicating my award to everyone with MND and terminal illnesses. And to the memory of my new friend Vicky Phelan, and to everyone in a dark place, including me.
Charlie has said his next goal is to be well enough to go see Bruce Springsteen when he plays here in May, as well as continue to raise money for MND and has been working with the Samaritans to support those in ‘a dark place’. .
Earlier this month, he was voted Man of the Year by Today FM listeners for his notable charity work, including his climb of Croagh Patrick, which raised over €3m for charity.
He wrote on Twitter: “I’ve been nominated ‘Man of the Year’ by the listeners of@TodayFM. I am accepting this honor for all the people who supported ClimbwithCharlie. I owe my fighting spirit to all of you. Thank you for extending the hand of friendship. I want to keep helping everyone who is in the dark.’