Saturday 29 April 2017

Dublin mum fighting cancer is half way to €100,000 target for 'wonder drug'

Claire Graham with son Harley
Claire Graham with son Harley
Claire Graham with son Harley and husband Declan
Melanie Finn

Melanie Finn

A Dublin mum fighting cancer has reached the midway point in her campaign to raise €100,000 for a revolutionary new wonder drug she hopes will save her life.

Claire Graham (38), who lives in Drimnagh, was diagnosed last year with triple negative breast cancer, a particularly aggressive form of the disease.

Only three months later, in August, she and husband Declan got more bad news when their two-year-old son Harley lost an eye to cancer after getting a retinoblastoma.

He is now in recovery, but Claire is fighting for her life after her cancer spread to parts of her brain and returned to her breast.

Claire Graham with son Harley
Claire Graham with son Harley

She was told her only hope is a revolutionary drug called Pembrolizumab, which is not currently available in Ireland but can be obtained privately at a cost of €100,000 for two years of treatment.

Claire, a business manager, said she has been bowled over by the support she has received from total strangers who read her story and wanted to help.

She has reached more than €50,000 in donations on her Just Giving page.

"This has given me hope again," she said.

Claire Graham with son Harley and husband Declan
Claire Graham with son Harley and husband Declan

"One of my neighbours, who is a man in his 80s, came over to me with a copy of the Herald in his hand.

"He had tears in his eyes after reading my story and gave me a donation. He wouldn't even come in for a cup of tea.

"I don't even know how to use Twitter properly so I couldn't believe the reaction to the campaign and the amount of support I'm getting. People in all corners of Ireland have come out to help me.

"You never know how these things are going to go, so I'm just delighted. It's given me a great boost."

Claire also received huge support from the online community, with celebrities including Pippa O'Connor, Rosanna Dav-ison and golfer Shane Lowry sharing her story.

To donate, visit www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/helpingclairegraham

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