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Sunday 11 December 2016

'If he’s going to die, I want to die with him' - Heartbroken Mum of Ceejay (4) who is battling leukemia

Published 02/11/2016 | 22:12

Garda Ceejay McAardle (4). Photo: Sean Curtin
Garda Ceejay McAardle (4). Photo: Sean Curtin

The mother of a four-year-old who is battling leukemia has spoken about how devastated she was when she heard her young son's diagnosis.

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Ceejay McArdle (4) from Castleblaney, Co Monaghan was diagnosed with leukemia at the age of two.

His mum, Susan Brown, told RTÉ's Ray D’Arcy Show that she and her husband Matthew found the heartbreaking news very hard to digest.

“We got into the car and decided that we couldn’t go any further. I said to Marcus, 'I can’t do it', and Marcus agreed. I kind of said... it sounds dreadful... I said, 'will we drive off the road?'

"I said 'I can't put him through this. If he’s going to die, I want to die with him'. And then he [Marcus] said, 'well we could jump on a plane and instead of putting him through this will we go off to a happy place and just be together',” she told Ray, speaking about her emotionally fragile state at the time. 

Susan called a man from her area who had a child in a similar situation and he in turn rang St John’s Ward in Crumlin Children’s Hospital and told them to expect Susan, Marcus and Ceejay.

“I thought, if there is a small chance of him getting better, we have to do this,” Susan said.   

Ceejay (4) will finish his treatment January 29 2018.

In the meantime, during treatment, Susan has set up a non-profit called 'Bravery Blanky', an organisation aimed at giving a ‘bravery blanket’ to children in Ireland diagnosed with cancer. “Comfort and hope wrapped in a blanket,” she said.

“We were in St John’s and I saw all these children, little heroes, lying up in the beds waiting for theatre and fasting and getting their five-hour-long chemotherapy and I just wanted to bring some colour and happiness.

Ceejay McArdle (3) from Co. Monoghan was made an honorary guard last year during a ceremony held in Dublin’s Garda HQ but this week
Ceejay McArdle (3) from Co. Monoghan was made an honorary guard last year during a ceremony held in Dublin’s Garda HQ but this week

"So I started thinking, what if every child had their own little ‘cosy’? So I started researching it and I set up a Facebook page and just asked people could they donate blankets.

“Originally I thought I’d give some to our local hospital in Drogheda. I’d say within two days we knew we’d have enough to bring them to St. John’s and give one to every child. The response just blew us away.”

Ceejay became Ireland's youngest guard in September 2015, as he dreams of being a guard when he grows up.

Read More: Little boy with Leukaemia (3) fulfils his dream of being a Garda for a day in Kilkenny

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