Teenager who battled rare cancer for 12 years loses fight for life

A teenage girl who captured the hearts of the nation for the past 12 years as she bravely battled a rare cancer lost her fight for life this morning.
Teenager who battled rare cancer for 12 years loses fight for life

A teenage girl who battled a rare cancer for 12 years lost her fight for life this morning.

Robyn Smyth, 15, from Whitehall in Dublin, had been fighting the aggressive cancer, neuroblastoma, since the age of three.

Since the nightmare began for her and her family Robyn had flown back and forth to the US for treatment close to 100 times.

Bernadette Dornan, Robyn’s mother has been by her daughter’s side throughout her battle and since first being told by doctors of the horrendous diagnosis on September 10, 2007. The family dealt with highs and extreme lows that cancer treatment brought them all.

Robyn, a third-year secondary school student in Whitehall, passed away at 8am surrounded by her family. The teenager had been receiving ongoing blood and platelet transfusions at Crumlin Children’s Hospital over the past several weeks but her condition started to worsen.

Colm Dornan, Robyn’s grandfather said: “Robyn fought so bravely for so long. Unfortunately over the past couple of weeks her health started to deteriorate and she became very weak, so weak she could not travel to the US for treatment and also because of the Covid-19 travel restrictions.

“The entire family is devastated, even the doctors and nurses are so upset over her passing, they were great to her. She was a great little fighter no matter what she had to cope with.

“Robyn captured the hearts of the nation, who at times, has been gravely ill but has managed to battle back, on each occasion but that didn’t happen this time.

Funeral arrangements are currently being made and will follow the strict burial restrictions of no more than 10 people in attendance.

When Robyn first became ill, she was 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 more than a million euro.

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

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

It had been hoped that Robyn would travel to Germany for further ground breaking treatment later this year.

Robyn is survived by her Mum Bernadette and Dad Leighton, sister Millie, grandad Com, grandmothers, Madeline and Kathleen, aunts, Cathy, Caroline and Laura, cousins Faith, Teaghan, Kayla, Ava and Cole also her aunts Janet and Lorraine and all her uncles, extended family friends and neighbours.

The family also thanked, “all of Robyn’s Life followers for their kindness, help and support.”

A memorial for Robyn will take place at a later date. The family requested that instead of sending floral wreaths, donations if desired should be made to Robyn’s Life Trust.

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