Dublin teen battling rare cancer receives huge donation from English couple she has never met

Dublin teen battling rare cancer receives huge donation from English couple she has never met
Robyn Smyth

A teenage girl who has been fighting cancer for 12 years has been the lucky beneficiary of a substantial donation from an English couple whose daughter has beaten the same disease.

Robyn Smyth, 15, from Whitehall in Dublin, has been fighting neuroblastoma since the age of 3.

Since she began battling the aggressive cancer, Robyn has flown back and forth to the US for treatment almost 100 times.

Bernadette Dornan, Robyn’s mother, has been by her daughter’s side since they first received the diagnosis on September 10, 2007.

The family continue to go through the highs and extreme lows that cancer treatment can bring.

But their fundraising drive received a welcome boost of €33,253 from the family of Kendal Jessop who has been five years cancer free.

Bernadette, who has never met the Jessop family, said she cannot thank them enough.

“Kendal is a fighter of neuroblastoma just like Robyn. Thankfully Kendal is doing well so her family have decided to release her funds, donating €33,253 to Robyn's fund. All the money they have raised will help others.

We have never met her family but yet they have decided to help Robyn and we cannot thank Laine and Stuart enough for this completely selfless act.

“Thank you for choosing to help Robyn and thank you to all of Kendal supporters for making this possible.

"Kendal has now reached her 10th birthday and we understand how big a milestone this is.

“We wish Kendal and her family nothing but future health and happiness.”

Speaking of their donation, Kendal’s family said: “The trust fund was set up following Kendal’s neuroblastoma diagnosis in November 2012 to support her treatment costs.

“We are delighted that Kendal has now been formally discharged by her consultant as she has been clear of neuroblastoma for five years.

"In consultation with the trustee’s, (the family) have identified beneficiaries from the remaining funds.”

One of the beneficiaries is Robyn and the other is the Amelia Mae Foundation based in Wirral in the UK who also has the same disease which has received €65,745.

Since becoming ill, Robyn has been treated in several Dublin hospitals and at medical facilities in the US including, Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital in Michigan and Sloane Kettering in New York, thanks largely to her relatives, friends and public donations which raised hundreds of thousands of euros.

Erin McGregor, sister of UFC fighter Conor, also got involved in charity events to raise awareness of Robyn’s cancer fight.

The third year secondary school student has at times been gravely ill but has managed to battle back each time.

When the Dublin girl’s chances of survival dropped to 5% four years ago and her mother was told by Irish doctors to bring her home to die, her family decided to fundraise to take her to the US for the first time.

It is hoped this year that Robyn will travel to Germany for further ground breaking treatment.

More on this topic

Danny Healy-Rae urges Coveney to save charity air ambulanceDanny Healy-Rae urges Coveney to save charity air ambulance

Irish Examiner View: The confidence to be healthy - Encouragement is the best elixirIrish Examiner View: The confidence to be healthy - Encouragement is the best elixir

Covid-19 lockdown mean you're not getting enough Vitamin D? Covid-19 lockdown mean you're not getting enough Vitamin D?

Period pain: Living with poorly understood endometriosisPeriod pain: Living with poorly understood endometriosis


More in this Section

Judge “terminates” extradition as Russian authorities fail to respond on prison conditions Judge “terminates” extradition as Russian authorities fail to respond on prison conditions

Social workers 'concerned' Covid-19 clusters will emerge in Direct Provision centresSocial workers 'concerned' Covid-19 clusters will emerge in Direct Provision centres

Covid-19 response: What are the health insurers saying about premium cuts?Covid-19 response: What are the health insurers saying about premium cuts?

Vicky Phelan urges people to stay at home as cancer survivors remind the public: 'My life matters'Vicky Phelan urges people to stay at home as cancer survivors remind the public: 'My life matters'


Lifestyle

People have been urged to avoid putting any additional pressure on healthcare workers by being careful when carrying out DIY or gardening chores during the coronavirus pandemic.How to avoid gardening and DIY injuries

Flights are grounded, but we can still see the world from our homes. Tom Breathnach presents his guide to armchair tourismTom Breathnach's virtual tour of the world

It’s a particular issue for many during lockdown.Stress Awareness Month: Are you stress eating?

A daily structure is essential when working from home during the coronavirus crisis. But watch you don’t put too much pressure on yourself or your children, experts tell Helen O’CallaghanParenting during Coronavirus: How to get the balance right at home

More From The Irish Examiner