The Anne-Marie O'Riordan Supporter Group is raising funds for The Brain Tumour Charity in her memory.
The first thing most people noticed about Anne-Marie was how devastatingly beautiful she was and then they realised this striking beauty was her plainest feature. Anne-Marie was kindness personified and this, coupled with her empathetic nature, made her a beacon for others to turn to in their time of stress. Anne-Marie had an amazing maturity and would dispense advice with the aplomb of a sage, far belying her 24 years.
Anne-Marie was blessed with an incredible intellect, combined with great oratory skills which made her a remarkable friend or a formidable adversary. She took these skills into the city and carved out a very successful career in equity derivatives at Goldman Sachs for most of the 5 years she spent in banking. This gave her the opportunity to use her language skills, particularly Italian, which she loved so much and spoke fluently.
Anne-Marie also possessed a great sense of humour; it was really an innocent sense of fun, almost child-like. When Anne-Marie's two sisters, Carly and Michelle, took turns living with us, she'd terrify us all as this gorgeous blonde head would pop out behind a wall and she'd cry out “RAAH". Carly and Michelle would scream the house down, I'd leap 6ft in the air and do some crazy peddling motion with my feet. Once they came back down on the carpet again, Anne-Marie would come towards me head cocked back guffawing with laughter and her arms outstretched. The outstretched arms were twofold, one to comfort me and the second to administer CPR for the impending heart attack she'd just induced.
Anne-Marie had amazing strength of character which was never more in evidence than at the beginning of 2007; she provided her family and friends with the strength to support her rather than the other way round. In January she was diagnosed with a low grade tumour and her uncle Kevin rasped his disappointment that it was the first time she'd ever gotten a low grade in her life.
Unfortunately that wasn't the case and Anne-Marie was asked to go in for a biopsy in March as she was very symptomatic. Anne-Marie's mum and I were called into a room and it was explained that it was far more sinister and aggressive than anything they'd previously countenanced. After the biopsy, Anne-Marie's health dramatically deteriorated and we brought her home.
Anne-Marie passed away within three weeks and her mum beautifully summarised it as follows, “We'd all been so desperately praying for a miracle and we had one all along, her name was Anne-Marie".