The family of a little boy who sadly lost his battle against cancer, have donated €10,000 to help another young sufferer stay alive.
Gerard and Stacey, the parents of two-year-old Caolan Melaugh from Donegal, decided to give the massive donation to Dublin teenager Robyn Smyth, last week, as she has fought the aggressive cancer, neuroblastoma, since the age of three.
Caolan, who passed away in June last year, was diagnosed with the disease when he was just 10 weeks old.
Ireland Soccer ace Seamus Coleman had donated €6,000 towards the little boy's treatment.
Last month, doctors in the US told Robyn’s Mum Bernadette that her 13-year-old daughter would have to start hugely expansive trial treatment if she is to have any chance of surviving, despite her first clear scan in years.
The brave teenager was given just a 30% chance of surviving when she was first diagnosed.
It was when the Dublin girl’s chances of survival dropped to 5% that her family decided to fundraise to take her to the American Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital in Michigan where Caolan also attended for further treatment.
Robyn’s family and friends have fundraised tirelessly to raise several hundred thousand euro to cover medical costs as they arise.
The first year secondary school student and family, who live in Whitehall, are now facing a €200,000 upfront bill for the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Centre in New York.
Robyn will be the first Irish person to be admitted on to this trial at the New York hospital.
Bernadette said: “I can’t believe the generosity of Caolan’s parents to Robyn and all the family. They have been through so much over the past couple of years.
“To have donated €10,000 towards getting Robyn on the vaccine trial in New York is just so amazing. Devastatingly Caolan passed away from neuroblastoma at the age of two.
“The kindness that they have shown ours while they struggle through the most difficult thing any parent can face is beyond measure. Stacey, Gerard and all Caolan's supporters, we can't thank you enough.”
Caolan’s Mum Stacey added that if any girl and family deserve a break it is Robyn and her parents.
“There is no footprint too small that it can't leave an imprint on this world. I met Robyn and her mum while Caolan was in treatment.
“Robyn has been fighting neuroblastoma since she was three years old. Like Caolan she travels to America for treatment and after her fourth relapse got clear scans.
“Her only hope now is to try prevent it coming back the only option is in New York which costs so much money. To help them along, we have made a donation of €10,000.
“If anyone deserves a break and a chance of some kind of normality it is for sure Robyn and her family. We wish them all the best.”
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In between her visits to the US, of which she has been on more than 60 flights since 2015, Robyn continues to take chemotherapy tablets and has blood tests and other related treatment at Our Lady’s Hospital for Sick Children in Crumlin.
“Robyn will be the first Irish person to be admitted on to this trial if medics at the hospital give the go ahead. They (medics) have all her scans now from Helen DeVos hospital so we are waiting anxiously to hear back from them.
“If we are given the green light to start the vaccine trial then she will be on it for two years. But we have to have €200,000 up front for Sloan Kettering Hospital to start with and our reserves of fundraising money are running very low.
“If anyone can help please please get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org or www.idonate.ie/robynslife," pleaded Bernadette.