Wednesday 17 January 2018

Big-hearted United fan to get LFC tattoo to save Robyn (10): 'It'll be a constant source of torment'

Mick and his daughter Bianca (7)
Mick and his daughter Bianca (7)
MIck O'Brien and family
Mick and little Bianca who is in remission

Sarah-Jane Murphy

A Tipperary man, who is a life long Manchester United fan, is set to get a Liverpool tatoo in order to fund-raise for little Robyn Smith who suffers from Neuroblastoma.

Mick O'Brien, from Fethard, Co. Tipperary, told that if he hits his target of €20,000 he is prepared to experience his "worst nightmare" and have the Liverpool Football Club crest emblazoned on his hand.

The idea came to him late at night, after a day spent caring for his seven-year-old daughter Bianca who has leukemia but is currently in remission.

He doesn't know Robyn's family personally but due to his daughter's illness he fully empathises with their situation

Little Robyn Smyth, from Dublin, has been fighting stage-four Neuroblastoma, one of the most deadly childhood cancers, since she was just three-years-old.

Read More: Robyn Smyth (10) to return home to Dublin after intensive cancer treatment in the US

In 2009, after enduring excruciating treatments, Robyn was declared disease-free.

However, four and a half years later her parents were devastated to learn the disease had returned, giving Robyn only a five per cent chance of survival.

Her treatment is now finished in Ireland and she urgently needs a vaccine in the United States that could give her the ability to defend herself against the cancer.

Read More: Brave Robyn jets off to Michigan for specialist cancer care after community raises more than €100,000

Her parents, Bernadette and Leighton, and three-year-old sister Millie, are desperately trying to raise the €266,000 ($300,000) they need to bring Robyn to the US to get the vaccine.

Mr O'Brien lists Wayne Rooney as his favourite Manchester United player but says it is hard to match the skills of Cantona, his childhood football hero.

"Some of the lads I'm friends with are big Liverpool fans so I know they will be making donations and pushing for me to get the tattoo.

"The tattoo will be a constant source of torment," he said with a laugh.

If all goes to plan and he raises the €20,000 he will have to have the tattoo applied in a local hotel where a large crowd can gather to spur him on.

"The lads will be in their element," he said.

To make a donation to Mick's campaign go to Michael's fundraising page.

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