A five-year-old girl from Co Cork who battled cancer for two years before passing away last week has been laid to rest.
Megan Malone from Cill na Martra, took ill in Oct 2010, just days after her parents Sheila and John Malone had welcomed a new baby, Tristan, to the family.
Megan had been vomiting and losing her balance, and a brain scan revealed a grade four supratentorial primitive neuroectodermal (SPNET) tumour.
The couple and their children Chloe, 9, Dylan, 7, and Tristan, 2, spent a considerable amount of time in Boston and New York where Megan was being treated.
Megan was free from cancer for a period but tumours were found to have grown again earlier this year, and the Malones returned to New York during the summer for further treatment.
Megan died in New York last Wednesday. The Malone family announced her death on their website saying: “Megan battled her terrible disease for over 26 months and it finally got the better of her little body and soul.
“We are so devastated. Our hearts are truly broken. We will never forget you Megan. We love you so much. No more suffering, no more pain. Poor, poor little darling Megan, may you rest in peace.”
Megan’s aunt, Áine Watts, said the timing of her niece’s death was particularly poignant.
“The entire family and extended family are devastated by losing Megan who was so, so brave.”
The Malones raised thousands of euro to fund both treatment and accommodation costs in New York.
An anonymous donor also funded a portion of Megan’s chemotherapy. Radiation treatment in Boston was paid for by the HSE.
In addition to SPNET, Megan had multiple brain tumours. The prognosis given in Ireland was less that 20% survival. The decision was made to send Megan to the US as the Oncology and Radiology team in Ireland had never treated a child so young, with this type of tumour so advanced.
In Sept 2011, Megan was found to have beaten the cancer. Fifty relatives turned up at Kerry Airport to greet her, including her grandparents Seán and Peggy Connell.
However, happiness was short lived as Megan’s tumours returned.
She was laid to rest yesterday at St Gobnait’s Cemetery, Ballyvourney, after Mass at St Lachteen’s Church in Cill na Martra.
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