The family of a four-year-old boy suffering from a rare cancer have turned to social media to raise €350,000 for last-chance surgery in the US as Irish doctors can no longer help him.
Gavin Glynn was diagnosed with Rhabdomyosarcoma, a cancer which affects his muscles, when he was 17 months old. After three years of tests and operations, Gavin's parents, John and Jayne, have been told that there is no treatment available in Ireland for their son.
Gavin with his mum and dad
John has posted a video to YouTube explaining their plight and appealing to the public for assistance.
"It starts in that first moment in hospital. Your life has changed forever and you could not be happier about it. All you want is for your child to grow up healthy and happy, but when your child gets sick all you want to do is make them better," John says in the video.
"This is my boy Gavin. Gavin was diagnosed with Rhabdomyosarcoma, a cancer of the muscles when he was just 17 months old. Gavin has been fighting cancer for almost three years now. There is no other treatment for Gavin available in Ireland. Our last chance is to travel to Texas for treatment."
Gavin's final hope is hyperthermic intraperitoneal chemotherapy (HIPEC) treatment, which is only available for children at MD Anderson Cancer Center in Texas. HIPEC is an open surgery which would remove all of Gavin's tumours. Heated chemotherapy would then be inserted into Gavin's abdominal region and kill any microscopic cells that remain.
Gavin and his parents will travel to Houston on 23 June to meet with up the surgical team at MD Anderson to discuss treatment. They will have to be there for between six and eight weeks, which means leaving his siblings, Conor and Lucy, behind in Ireland. "We have told them we need to go away with Gavin for treatment, even though they are still very young they really understand what has to happen."
John says his son is excited by the thought of travelling in a plane to America. "Luckily Gavin likes airplanes, and cannot wait to take off in a jumbo jet."
The family need to raise €350,000 to send Gavin to Texas for HIPEC treatment. This initial meeting will cost Gavin's parents $25,000 and the surgery will be another $400,000.
John was shocked to discover the cost. "I thought they had put an extra 0 in by accident but this was not the case. It is scary to think we need this amount and I know with all the support of everyone fundraising and donating that we will get it."
John is determined to do everything he can to rid his son of cancer. "If I have to sell my own organs to pay for it, I will."
Team Gavin Glynn Appeal http://t.co/pADzYr3krf— JOHN GLYNN (@JOHNGLYNN1) June 17, 2014
Users of social media are being urged to share a 'selfie' with their sons, nephews and other boys in their lives with the hashtag #MyBoy to raise awareness. Many have already gotten involved on Twitter by posting their selfie and a screenshot of their donation.
To donate €4 text 'Gavin' to 50300 or visit TeamGavinGlynn.ie
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