Sunday 25 September 2016

'She was looking forward to just escaping for a week' - Mum's devastation as cancer teen Shan's holiday falls apart after Lowcostholidays collapse

Published 18/07/2016 | 11:38

Shan Tynan (17) with her mum Leona
Shan Tynan (17) with her mum Leona

A young cancer sufferer who was due to be brought on holiday by her heartbroken family is the latest casualty of the collapse of the Lowcostholidays company.

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Shan Tynan was diagnosed with a very rare form of cancer last year and is due to turn 18 on Wednesday.

The Carlow girl’s family battled to raise funds to bring her to a specialist in Texas where she has been treated with a gruelling chemotherapy regime, but recently she received the bad news that the cancer has spread to the bowel and stomach.

“We were devastated at the news, and my mother and aunt decided to book us a holiday so that Shan could have some time away from hospitals and doctors and just be with her family and friends,” Shan’s mother Leona explained.

Shan Tynan was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer Histiocytosis X
Shan Tynan was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer Histiocytosis X

“We booked the flights to Santa Ponsa through Ryanair, but the two apartments were booked through Lowcostholidays and now we have been told that the bookings have been cancelled since the holiday company collapsed,” she added.

Thousands of holidaymakers have been left in limbo since the online travel company closed on Friday afternoon.

People currently on holidays may be forced to pay their accommodation again or be forced out, and those with bookings are facing having their accommodation cancelled.

“We are now in a situation where we still have our flights for August 7 but no accommodation if we were to travel. The apartments cost €1,200 for the week and we can’t afford to pay that again and re-book because of all the expense of travelling to Texas for Shan’s treatment,” Leona explained.

Shan Tynan
Shan Tynan

“I’ll be telling Shan this morning what has happened, and she will be heartbroken. After receiving the news that the cancer spread she was looking forward to the holiday and just escaping for a week,” said Leona.

“I have been in touch with Lowcostholidays through the email address we were advised to use, but the only word coming back is that our query will be dealt with in the coming weeks, which will probably be too late for us.

“I’ve been in touch with our bank as well and they are being as helpful as they can but say we have to fill out an aviation bonding form and there is no timeline for how long it will all take to sort out,” she added.

“We booked the apartments on the 11th which was just a couple of days before the company closed. Surely they knew it was on the cards?

Shan Tynan
Shan Tynan

“Shan’s friend’s mother paid for her flight too, and I’m feeling guilty about that,” she explained.

“There was supposed to be eight travelling but it’s all lost now I think.

“Maybe I was naive but I thought once we had paid Lowcostholidays then it would be passed on to the accommodation company and our apartments would be safe, but it works on some sort of account system and the accommodation company cancelled the Lowcostholiday bookings when it folded,” said Leona.

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