Friday 9 December 2016

'To be a parent watching your kid go through this is unimaginable'- Father of Dublin barista (28) battling cervical cancer

Published 23/03/2016 | 10:57

Rashel Winn pictured with her father Eric (right) and her husband Seamus on her wedding day
Rashel Winn pictured with her father Eric (right) and her husband Seamus on her wedding day

The father of a woman battling cervical cancer has thanked the public who raised more than €45k in one week which allowed him to fly to Ireland to be at his daughter’s side.

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Eric Winn, the father of award-winning Dublin barista Rashel Winn, flew to Dublin from Seattle on Monday thanks to funds raised by the city’s coffee community who were touched by her story.

Rashel (28) was diagnosed with cervical cancer in April 2015 and her last week her father revealed that her condition was deteriorating following an infection.

Eric expressed his gratitude to the hundreds of people who donated to Rashel’s campaign, which will go towards supporting specialist treatment in Chicago.

“It’s been incredible. The outpouring of support that Rashel has been receiving has left me speechless.

“I’m so proud of the life she’s created here and the love that has been displayed by everyone who knows her.

Rashel Winn is at the centre of a fundraising campaign as she battles cervical cancer
Rashel Winn is at the centre of a fundraising campaign as she battles cervical cancer

“The funds raised will go a long way to relieve the burden and worry about the financial side of things. It’s been phenonomenal.

Eric admitted that Rashel’s battle with the disease is every parent’s worst nightmare but his family is taking every day as it comes.

“To be a parent watching your kid go through this, it is unimaginable and horrible. You think you would die, but now I find myself in the midst of it.

“Right now, we hope that Rashel might be well enough to travel on Friday, where the specialist team at North Western Memorial are waiting to admit her. It’s given us, and her husband Seamus, hope,” he said.

Eric commended the generosity of local businesses such as 3fe on Grand Canal Street in the city, who donated all coffee proceeds towards Rashel’s campaign on Friday.

Speaking last week, owner of 3fe Colin Harmon revealed that the campaign was one his business was happy to support.

“Rashel is one of the most charismatic and warm people I've ever met and after a few mails back and forth we've decided to do something for her that will hopefully help in the coming weeks and months,” he said.

Speaking of his daughter’s illness, Eric Winn urged the parents of teenagers to be forthcoming when it comes to the HPV vaccine, which he believes is life-saving.

“We want to raise awareness about the HPV vaccine. I feel certain that if Rachel had gotten this as a teenager she would not be in this situation. She has teenage twin sisters who will certainly be getting the vaccine because as a family we can’t face this again.

“The fact is you can go without it and hope it doesn’t happen to your daughter or you can take action.”

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