A WIDESPREAD fundraising initiative has been launched to raise funds for a life-saving liver transplant for Kyle O'Donoghue, the three year old Headford toddler who in July was diagnosed with an aggressive liver cancer labelled Heptablastoma. A one-in-a-million disease, Kyle is one of just one of a handful of children nationwide with the condition.
Daughter of Declan and Fiona of Dromcarbin, Kyle was diagnosed with the malignant tumour on July 13 following a biopsy. The probe had been carried out after the cheerful toddler had unusually complained of a sore side and doctors subsequently found that her stomach to be abnormally hard.
An urgent liver transplant is now required as the cancer has been labelled 'very aggressive' and Kyle, Declan and Fiona, who is expecting in October, will be travelling to King's College Hospital in London where their options will be given to them.
In the meantime, Kyle is receiving intensive chemotherapy in Dublin which lasts three days at a time and takes place every two weeks. Declan says it's certainly taking its toll on his little daughter.
"She was never sick a day in her life before this," he revealed.
"This is a rapidly growing cancer, very aggressive. It masks the liver, totally surrounds it. The chemotherapy leaves Kyle with thrush in the throat, her nails are red and sore and her hair continues to fall out. It's absolutely terrible."
Declan, formerly employed in the construction business and currently working as a doorman in The International Hotel, said he was simply left in shock when the terrible news was broken to him.
"Kyle was diagnosed with cancer on the Tuesday in Dublin and it was our worst fears confirmed. Soon after that I got the call to come down on Wednesday night to see my father and he died on the Thursday morning and was buried on Friday. It's just been a complete daze."
"We have explained most of it to her. She knows it's a tumour and it has to come out. They're very good with her in the hospital and she even tells them if they've forgotten something," he added with a smile.
Fundraising for the Kyle O'Donoghue Transplant Fund was launched at the weekend and on Saturday, September 8, local band Gliondar will reformed for one night only for an 'Old McSorley's Reunion' - doors open at 9.30pm.
Fundraising co-ordinator and family friend Donal Doherty says there's many more events planned.
"On September 15 in The Kerry Way we will have a family day to coincide with the Four Peaks Mountain Challenge. It will include a 15km bed push and walk and finishes up with a barbecue and more. There's a number of other initiatives and we will announce them soon.