THE family of a four-year-old Killorglin girl suffering from Leukaemia have asked as many people as possible to come out and support a major fundraising drive to help fund the hospital where their daughter is being treated.
Daughter of Emer and Jonathan, Ava Diggin ( below) turned four-yearsold on March 8 but was too sick to enjoy a birthday party. The following day the worried family travelled to Dublin for tests. What started out as a mouth ulcer which had eroded, eventually repaired itself but as Ava continued to feel poorly she later received a blood transfusion.
"The transfusion meant that there was a false reading when they did the bone marrow test so, unfortunately, we believed that Leukaemia had been ruled out," Emer explained. "It was a surreal feeling on being told by the consultant that it is Leukaemia. We stepped into a world which was alien to us but we now know there are many parents from all over Ireland in very similar situations.
"Our paths cross when we meet in the St Johns Ward our Lady's Hospital for Sick Children in Crumlin," she continued.
Ava has been undergoing chemotherapy at the Dublin hospital and travels back to Kerry after each treatment. She began to lose her hair in May and continues to feel tired and run down after each session.
Ava's grandmother, Nora O'Sullivan Looney, who is widely known as a postmistress in Killorglin, is assisting with the fundraising for the hospital. A regular cyclist who has raised large sums for charity in the past, Nora says she is finding the news hard to take but is putting her energies into the campaign.
Two events are planned. A Charity Cycle takes place on Sunday, October 14, in Killorglin. All enquiries to Nora on (087) 1656566. The second event is a Charity Art Auction on Monday, November 26, which will take place in the RDS in Dublin.