'As a mother, you are never ready for this' - Meath parents vow to do all to help their son defy cancer

'As a mother, you are never ready for this' - Meath parents vow to do all to help their son defy cancer
Pic: Seamus Farrelly

By Louise Walsh

A heartbroken mother whose teenage son is fighting a rare form of cancer continues to try 'everything possible on this earth and beyond' to save him saying ' as a mother you are never ready for this."

A GoFundMe page has now been started and local groups such as Rush Camera Club are organising fundraising events to send Slavomir (Slav) Vavro abroad for life-saving treatment for cancer, which lay undetected in the arch of his foot until it spread.

As Slav undergoes chemotherapy, his loving mum Nadia said: " As a mother, I would never be ready for all side effects and for everything that we went and are going through. You are never ready for that.

"We pass fundraisers on the street but we do not understand until it is touching us, or it is our own child. Everything else is meaningless in that moment. Time and date does not exist anymore."

Slav (13) from Laytown, Co. Meath has started a 27-week chemotherapy programme and despite a poor prognosis from doctors, Slav's parents are not giving up without a fight.

Slav was diagnosed with the rare Alveolar Rhabdomyosarcoma in late January.

"Slav developed sudden stomach and back pain just two weeks before diagnosis. He was even isolated for suspected TB but after an MRI and bone marrow biopsy, the cancer was detected," she said.

"I will never forget the doctor asking me if we could have a chat. My husband Vlad was at work and I was on my own in a room with two doctors and two medical professionals, all holding a box of tissues and plastic cups of water.

"I initially refused to go in, I stopped just outside of the door, staring at those people and the only thing I could say was; 'this is too scary'.

Pic: Seamus Farrelly
Pic: Seamus Farrelly

Slav was transferred to Our Lady's Hospital in Crumlin for further tests to reveal that the primary location of the cancer was in the arch of his foot. However, it had spread to his spine and bone marrow.

"As a mother, you make sure your child has the proper shoes to avoid having a flat foot but the tumour was filling the arch under his foot so we did not notice anything."

Since Slav has been receiving treatment, Nadia has given up her job as a Social Worker to be beside her son's side.

His sister Michaela (23) and 15-year-old brother Vlad are also helping with fundraising efforts.

Despite his pain, Nadia says Slav is always thinking of others.

"He is always smiling, spreading a good energy around and is grateful for every day. He tells me every day I'm the best mam in the world and always asks his dad how his day was when he gets home from work.

"He is very humble and caring. He never asks for designer pieces or brand names. He puts love first.

"He does not deserve this and there is no child on this earth who would deserve something like this. Never

"We, as Slav's parents, have to try everything possible on this earth and beyond - to save our lovely boy."

Pic: Seamus Farrelly
Pic: Seamus Farrelly

While waiting for advice on the best treatment to access abroad, the family are fundraising so that they are ready to go, when called for.

"We want this fundraising to be as transparent as possible. All funds will go towards Slav's medical help and any remaining funds will go towards helping another child with cancer and their families through various other charities," said Nadia.

Pic: Seamus Farrelly
Pic: Seamus Farrelly

Rush Camera Club, where Slav's dad is a long-time member, are selling local prints in Tesco on April 28th to help the campaign.

Anyone wishing to donate can do so at https://www.gofundme.com/help-for-slav-rhabdomyosarcoma

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