Young mum with cancer prays for miracle

A young Limerick mother and her family face Christmas praying for a miracle.

Stephanie O'Halloran, with Limerick Leprechauns' Owen South, and Declan O'Halloran, and Stephanie's father John Fanning, who are organising a charity rugby game to raise funds for treatment for the young mother-of-one who has terminal cancer

Stephanie O’Halloran, 23, was with her parents Declan and Ann at University Hospital Limerick on Sept 13 last when she was given the news nobody wants to hear.

The breast cancer diagnosed two days earlier was terminal.

Declan said: “We were just devastated. Our hearts were broken to hear that our lovely eldest daughter was told she had just nine months to live. No words can describe our feelings.”

Stephanie, who has a 19-month-old baby girl, Robyn, now believes that a treatment she has found at a clinic in Florida gives her new hope.

Declan said: “Ann’s sister in England heard about this treatment, which centres on a diet of raw vegetable, and she met the head of the clinic, Brian Clement, in Galway about two months ago.

“He told her he could help, but not to leave it too late.

“After the meeting we did a lot of soul searching and we prayed to the Lord.

“Stephanie is a very positive person and four weeks ago, she went to Florida where she spent 21 days starting on the programme. She came home at the weekend and is still very tired after the long flight. She feels much better.”

Declan said Stephanie’s illness has brought about another Limerick rugby miracle.

“Thomond and St Mary’s clubs have joined to put up a team to play the Limerick Leprechauns on St Stephen’s Day in aid of a fund set up to pay for Stephanie’s treatment.

“I played with Thomond and when we played against St Mary’s, it wasn’t a contest, but sheer battle. To think the two clubs have now come together for this game is in itself a miracle.

“Stephanie hopes to be able to get the game.”

Over the past 27 years, the Limerick Leprechauns Rugby club has raised over €1.2m for various causes.

Declan said: “Stephanie is a very determined person.

“Just five weeks after Robyn was born, she completed her final exams at Limerick Institute of Technology for her marketing management degree.

“She knows that me and Ann, and our other children Carrie, 21, Declan, 18, and Adam, 11, are fully behind her.”

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