Rooney sisters raise funds for mom's brain surgery

When sisters Taylor and Georgia Rooney created a GoFundMe campaign to cover the cost of their mother’s brain surgery, they did not imagine they would raise five figures in less than 48 hours.

They met their $9,000 goal in less than one day, and as of Saturday, March 18, at 6 p.m., they had raised $13,475 from 155 donors.

Their GoFundMe page, which launched March 15, has accumulated more than 400 Facebook shares and is currently trending on the company’s home page.

Their mother, Tess Rooney, suffered a seizure March 10, which sparked the campaign. Her doctors diagnosed her with a benign brain tumor — a meningioma — that requires surgery to remove.

The Rooney sisters called the insurance company and discovered that their mother would have to pay $8,000 for the procedure, and they factored in additional money to cover their mother’s expenses during the indeterminate time she will miss work to recover from the surgery. Tess is currently scheduled to undergo surgery Friday, March 24.

“We didn’t know what to expect,” Georgia said. “None of us could believe the amount of support we received. It was amazing. We just feel so blessed.”

“We were afraid. We felt like we couldn’t give her the support financially that we needed to for the surgery, and my sister thought of doing a GoFundMe page,” Taylor added. “We had heard of it, but we had never known of anyone who did it. We thought that this was the least we could do for our mom. There’s just been such an outpouring of support.

“Our mom has always been there for everyone in our life, and we knew that people would want to help, but we did not know it would be to this extent. It’s really a testament to our mom, and we’re just happy that we could have done this for her.”

Their mother was overjoyed by the campaign’s success — and the community’s quick support.

“She was pretty much speechless when I started reading the names of the people who were donating and what Taylor wrote about her on the site, and she was crying with happiness, saying that she just feels so lucky and so blessed and she couldn’t believe it,” Georgia said. “She tells me that she feels so special and so touched, and she had no idea that so many people would come out to support her, and she’s so thankful. Every time we give her an update, her face lights up.”

Both sisters commented on the support they found coming from a wide range of people.  “Ridgefield has been amazing,” Taylor said. “It’s such a great community. It just feels so warm and surreal to me how the people around us have given so much support.”  

“Taylor shared it on Facebook on Wednesday night, and then I shared it on my page, and that’s all we did. It grew so quickly, and we saw a lot of our friends sharing it, people we hadn’t seen in years sharing it, and it quickly expanded into other towns,” Georgia said. “There were so many people that none of us know.

“We’d go through, and the amount of support from Ridgefield people, you know, one person said, ‘From a fellow Ridgefield Canterbury mom, we stand with you,’ they contributed $500, which is amazing.”

Taylor said the family is very private, but felt GoFundMe was the best way to raise funds.

“We didn’t want to ask for something we didn’t need,” she said. “It’s amazing that we can cover the cost of surgery, and anything additional is just to help her through the indeterminate time she’ll be away from work. Anything is so appreciated, and will go to an amazing woman.”

Click here to donate to the sisters’ GoFundMe campaign: https://www.gofundme.com/tess-rooneys-medical-fund