Cork teen with terminal cancer gets date for US surgery

By Olivia Kelleher

A teenager with a terminal brain tumour who raised €140,000 for his treatment abroad is to travel to the US on June 9th for what his family call potentially "life saving surgery."

Aaron McMahon from Shanagarry, Co Cork has been informed by doctors that no more that can be done for him in Ireland.

The 17-year-old wants to do his Leaving Certificate and to go on to train in woodwork. He had previously travelled to Germany for proton treatment.

Now a neurosurgeon in the US has said that he can attempt to remove the tumour.

In a post on his Aaron's Hope Facebook page his family said that they were "so grateful" for the outpouring of support.

"We previously advised that the HSE declined to offer any financial assistance to Aaron. Your ongoing support will be needed for Aaron's care which can only be provided in America. "

The McMahon family would like to acknowledge the work of the Gavin Glynn Foundation.

The foundation, which was set up in memory of an 18 month old boy who died of a rare form of cancer, booked and paid for flights and accommodation in America.

Aaron would also like to thank the staff at the Mater Private Hospital in Cork and his own GP Dr Sean McCarthy who has been a "great support" to him.

The teenager has also expressed his appreciation to people from all over Ireland who sent letters and cards since he went public with his plight earlier this year.

He has written a song about his cancer entitled "One in a Million" which will be performed by Goldfish Syndrome this Friday at Midleton CBS School. A video of the song will be made.

Aaron previously told the Neil Prendeville Show on Cork's Red FM that he just wants a chance at life.

It is not hard to stay positive. If I feel sorry for myself I will be upset all the time. I have got to keep smiling and laughing. I find a lot of things funny. I feel like I am always tired. I feel run down. There is good and bad days. The amount of support I am getting off friends. The rugby lads, the GAA lads, the soccer lads, they are always there and messaging me.

He admitted that he finds it hard to sleep at night.

"I don't want to close my eyes because I could wake up one day blind or not even wake up. We have been told I could be gone in one day.

"We have no time. The doctors have told us we have no time."

It is understood that Aaron first spotted his reoccurring headaches in 2013 and they got progressively worse by 2016.

He was diagnosed with a brain tumour and had surgery in Beaumont Hospital before going to Germany for Proton treatment.

Earlier this year, he noticed he had eye problems again and the family were told that his condition was terminal.

Aaron is 6ft 1inch in height and is the youngest of three brothers.

He is fighting a cancerous brain tumour called Chordoma. Chordome is a rare type of cancer that occurs in the bones of the skill base and spine.

It is part of a group of malignant bone and soft tissue tumours called sarcoma and is diagnosed in just one million people per year.

Specialist neurosurgeons in the US have had some success with patients with Aaron's condition.

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