Teenage cancer victim thanks public for 'chance of life' after raising €500k for 'last-chance' treatment

Her plight also inspired Belfast-based MMA fighter Andrew Murphy to donate the ticket profits from his upcoming fight.

Teenage cancer victim thanks public for 'chance of life' after raising €500k for 'last-chance' treatment

A young cancer victim has managed to raise more than €550,000 in two days since posting a heartbreaking video online pleading for funds to help pay for her treatment.

Shauntelle Tynan.
Shauntelle Tynan.

18-year-old Shauntelle Tynan has a rare cancer, one that her doctor in America called the "most complex case he had seen in his career".

It is called Langheran’s cell histiocytosis x and has spread all over her body, so Shauntelle hopes to travel to Texas for treatment in March. However, she does not qualify for the HSE’s Treatment Abroad scheme meaning she is not entitled to State funds to travel to her "last-chance" specialist treatment in the US.

On Sunday, her Go Fund Me page registered a total of €50,000 in donations, but Shauntelle needs €500,000 to afford her treatment.

But since she posted her video online two days ago she has surpassed that target, so that it stands at just over €600,000 today.

The Carlow teenager and her mother Leona spoke to the Ray D'Arcy Show on RTE 1 today explaining how she made the video upstairs in her bedroom while her Mam made dinner downstairs.

She said: "We hadn’t had a donation in five days and I thought I'd make a video, I didn’t think it would go viral.

"We thought that the gofundme page had got a virus or something was wrong as it was going up by thousands, we couldn’t take our eyes off it. It's crazy and mindblowing."

Her mother said the fact that it has reached its target on Valentine's Day means "it's not Valentine's Day any more, it's Shaunintines' Day."

As Shauntelle told Ray D'Arcy, she has a "rare type of the rare type" of cancer and she leaves for Houston, Texas, this Saturday February 18 for a week and returns on March 29 for a year of treatment. She will be mainly with her mother, although they are hoping to get the rest of her family out there over the summer.

Shauntelle took to Facebook today to thank those who donated to her campaign, which has well surpassed its €500k goal.

If you can't see the Facebook post above, click here.

She said: "The last 38 hours has been a place of love and the people of Ireland have truly came together to help me get better and for that I'm truly thankful. There has been few haters but millions of lovers and each person showing positivity helps us through each day and we are truly over the moon.

"The good always outshines the bad and I now have a true chance at beating this and it is all down to all who shared, commented and donated. I am so excited for my little brother and sister to come home from school to hear that I have made enough to go to Texas.

"Finally, their big sister can be there for them again! I will never be able to express just how thankful I am, as this Valentine's Day I didn't just receive a teddy or a card, but the chance of life!"

Meanwhile, her campaign has caught the attention of Belfast-based MMA fighter Andrew Murphy who will donate all the ticket profits from his upcoming fight in the SSE Arena to help Shauntelle.

If you can't see the Facebook post above, click here.

He posted on Facebook saying: "As a father to a one year old son seeing Shauntelle's video really hit me hard.

"I am lucky in the sense I get to fight as I enjoy challenging myself daily.

"Shauntelle fights because she has to. There is no enjoyment in this battle. I've never been motivated by money nor will I ever be. Next week I fight in the SSE Arena on the biggest show to hit Ireland this year.

"I have decided to give all of my ticket sale deal to Shauntelle’s fund to help get her to Texas."

Go Fund Me said that Shauntelle's campaign is the largest Irish campaign to ever be held on the crowd-funding platform. If you want to donate to Shauntelle's treatment costs click www.gofundme.com.

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