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Thursday 29 September 2016

'I think it’s an Irish thing that we all support each other in times like this' - Mum of little cancer-fighter 'Batman' Ben (5)

Catherine Devine

Published 09/07/2016 | 11:38

'Batman' Ben's fundraising is flying
'Batman' Ben's fundraising is flying

Over €100,000 has been fundraised for a live-saving cancer operation for little 'Batman' Ben as he continues to fight for his life.

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Ben (5) was diagnosed with a rare form of Wilms tumour on Christmas Eve 2015 and is fundraising for a life-saving cancer trial in Washington at an estimated €260,000.

“The fundraising is flying. It’s amazing how well it’s going. It’s better than we could ever have imagined,” mum Valerie told Independent.ie.

“The public have been absolutely amazing. I think it’s an Irish thing that we all support each other in times like this. It’s not just our community that’s supporting us, it’s communities we’re not even part of and we’re so thankful.”

As part of his fundraising campaign Ben joined Jonathan Rhys Myers on the set of the Vikings last week, where Myers urged his fans to support Ben.

“My friend Ben, he’s not very well. He’s an excellent boy, he’s a little superhero so please give what you can, time, energy, tell other people about it and make sure that we get it done. It’s very simple, let’s get it done for Batman Ben,” said Myers.

Ben also met the Dublin football team which he was very excited about.

“Ben’s taking it all in his stride. As far as he’s concerned he’s meeting these people because of his YouTube channel ‘Ben kids TV’,” said Valerie.

“We have so many great fundraisers coming up including lip sync battles. We’ll also be collecting outside the Leinster final next week to give us another big push so we can reach the final mark.

“The goal is becoming more realistic now. It’s seems do-able,” she said.

Ben underwent 19 rounds of chemotherapy and radiation and doctors in Ireland told the family they couldn't do anything else.

“After 19 rounds of chemotherapy our consultant looked at us and said he didn’t think he could cure Ben,” said Valerie.

“Going over to the US, I knew the costs were going to be through the roof but we know what we need to do.

“Faced with many uncertainties one thing is clear to us. We must fight. We must give Ben every chance no matter how far or what the cost. We know treatment in America runs into hundreds of thousands and we need help to give us more options,” said Valerie.

You can donate money to help Ben’s treatment in the US at https://www.gofundme.com/batmanben

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