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Sunday 21 September 2014

'It's the bold boy in my tummy' - Brave Dubs mascot Molly (5) on her cancer battle

Published 03/05/2014 | 10:55

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The family of a five-year-old girl suffering from a rare form of cancer have made an emotional appeal for fundraising to help her treatment.

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Molly McNally from Balbriggan in north county Dublin was diagnosed with Stage 4 Neuroblastoma, a childhood cancer, in October 2013.

For her parents  Emma and Gerry McNally, Molly’s cancer diagnosis was a bombshell.

“It’s devastated us. It’s broken our hearts but Molly keeps us strong” Gerry said.

Molly’s mum Emma explained that as well as a significant  tumour over a right kidney which has  now been successfully shrunk by chemotherapy, the cancer also attacked her bone marrow  and bones as well as her lymph nodes.

For little Molly (5), though, it is simply “the bold boy in my tummy.”

But with remarkable resilience and the support and love of her family, Molly is battling hard.

Now Mum and Dad Emma and Gerry, aided by their local community in Balbriggan, and the true blue stalwarts of Hill 16  who have adopted  Molly as their mascot are raising funds to ensure the McNallys can explore every option available.

Neuroblastoma is the most common cancer in infancy and Molly is not the only Irish child undergoing the arduous treatments that fight the disease - shrink the “bold boy” in her tummy and eliminate the cancer spots around her body.

In  Strandhill in Sligo there is another  child - six-year-old  Donal Parsons - who like Molly was diagnosed with Stage 4 Neuroblastoma  last October and is undergoing 18 months of intensive treatment at Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital, Crumlin, Dublin.

The Donal Parsons Trust  has been set up in his name  to raise money to access any viable treatments to prevent relapse and to pay for treatments if Donal does relapse.

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The Trust may also assist Donal and his family during his treatment.

If Donal doesn’t need further treatment all proceeds will go towards fighting Neuroblastoma and to other families facing this terrible situation.

For Emma and Gerry McNally, Molly’s cancer diagnosis was a bombshell.

Molly had started to feel unwell just as she had started school and like any parent she was brought to the GP.

She was treated for constipation and had routine blood tests done which showed that she had low iron levels.

Emma and Gerry were given tips about  her diet  but her illness continued.

One day as he was walking Molly into school Gerry noticed that she was walking with a slight limp.

Ultimately she was brought to hospital  where for five days she had countless blood tests, a pelvic ultrasound, x-rays and a battery of other tests.

Finally, one doctor suggested that she have an abdominal ultrasound and once that was done a CT scan was ordered immediately. At 4.20pm on 22nd October 2013 Molly was diagnosed with cancer.

“It’s devastated us. It’s broken our hearts but Molly keeps us strong,” Gerry said.

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Molly’s mum Emma explained that as well as a significant  tumour over a right kidney which has  now been successfully shrunk by chemotherapy, the cancer also attacked her bone marrow  and bones as well as her lymph nodes.

The side effects of the treatment is that Molly has temporarily lost her hair which upset her very much.

In an act of family solidarity her adult sister Stephanie, shaved off her hair  just before Christmas so Molly wouldn’t feel too bad and  to raise funs for the trust set up in Molly’s name.

“Neuroblastoma Stage 4 is unfortunately the worst type, the most aggressive and it is hard to treat. but Molly keeps us going and she is receiving the best treatment available   from the doctors and staff at  Crumlin and at Our Lady’s in Drogheda.  However, we need to make contingency plans in case she needs to get treatments outside the HSE system,” said Emma.

Molly has her own Facebook page “Molly McNally Miracle Trust” and her own webpage with further details about fundraising events can be found at  www.mollymcnallymiracletrust.com.

More details about Donal Parsons and fundraising efforts on his behalf are available at www.donalparsonstrust.com

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