Tuesday 28 March 2017

'A cold could make him very sick' - mum's plea to raise €3k for car to bring 'hero' son with cancer to hospital in Dublin

Catherine Devine

Catherine Devine

A mum has launched a fundraising campaign to help raise money to buy a car to take her sick child with cancer to hospital for treatment.

Samantha Richardson from Nenagh in Co Tipperary currently uses public transport to bring her eight-year-old son Alex to Crumlin for chemotherapy.

Samantha and her husband Brian have set up a GoFundMe page to try and raise €3,000 to purchase, insure and tax “a small” car so they can safely bring Alex to and from treatment.

“We’re trying to raise funds for a car to bring Alex to treatment in Crumlin hospital. Our car took a dive six months ago so we’re trying to raise enough money to get a car that works.

“Public transport is dangerous for Alex to be travelling on because a normal cough or cold could make him very sick. It’s a lot more dangerous for Alex than a normal child because his immune system is very weak,” Samantha told Independent.ie.

“Alex is so brave and strong. He’s our little hero. He has so much strength even after everything he went through. He’s also so happy and we try to keep things positive for him.”

Alex was diagnosed with acute lymphocytic leukaemia in 2014, when he was just five-years-old.

“It was devastating. Our heart broke. We were thrown into intense treatment so we didn’t even have time to think.”

Ales (8) with his family
Ales (8) with his family

Currently Alex receives his chemotherapy at home but travels to Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital in Crumlin for treatment once a month.

Samantha and her husband Brian have three other children Jessica (9), Lucy (4) and Benjamin (2).

Alex with siblings Jessica, Lucy and Benjamin
Alex with siblings Jessica, Lucy and Benjamin

“It’s very hard on the children, especially my eldest Jessica. At any stage one of us could be gone for weeks  to hospital with Alex. It’s very tough.”

Samantha said they don’t have friends or family nearby to help but receive support from Aoibhinn’s Pink Tie as well as the Hand-in-Hand foundation.

“Their support means everything. They help us with cleaning the house or laundry services which are things you don’t think about when you have a sick child. Our local childcare place, the Ladybird, also take Benjamin (2) for free for a couple of hours five days a week. It’s a great help.”

Samantha said she’s delighted with their fundraising so far.

“We’re getting there but I know it won’t happen overnight.”

September is Childhood Cancer Awareness month which Samantha said is very important to highlight.

“I don’t think people realise how many people are in a similar situation. It turns your world upside down having a child with cancer.

“There are a lot of support pages on Facebook for children with cancer and it’s devastating how many of them don’t make it. Eight or nine children in Ireland have died from cancer in the last few months. It’s absolutely heartbreaking.”

Samantha said that while it’s important to support families it’s hard to understand the pain they’re going through.

“It’s hard. You try to understand but you can’t because you still have your child. It’s devastating for the families.”

You can donate to Alex’s fundraising at www.gofundme.com/2pnynfb8/

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