'We need more research to prevent childhood cancer' - Mum's plea for funds to help Caolan (2) battle cancer for the second time
The mum of a two-year-old battling cancer for the second time has called for more research to prevent childhood cancer and relapse rates.
Little Caolan (2) is battling a rare form of aggressive childhood cancer, Neuroblastoma, and is hoping to go to the US for treatment to prevent relapse.
Parents Stacey and Gerard Melaugh from Killygordon, Co Donegal are trying to raise thousands of euro for their eldest son.
Caolan was diagnosed at just 10-weeks-old and went through intense treatment for 18 months at Our Lady's Children's Hospital, Crumlin.
The family were overjoyed when his scans came back all clear in June 2016, but just three months later, the cancer was back.
"Caolan was placed on a trial medication that was to prevent a relapse in July 2016. Unfortunately treatment here in Ireland for relapse is very limited so it meant we had to travel to the US for treatment at a cost of €20,000 each time," Caolan's mum Stacey told Independent.ie.
"He went to America but Caolan took a seizure and things turned for the worst.
"I was at home expecting our second baby so my husband Gerard was over with my sister. They were only supposed to be away for four days but ended up staying in America with Caolan for two weeks. They got home just in time for the delivery of our second child, Eoghan."
Currently, Caolan attends Crumlin five days a week for ongoing chemotherapy, and so far the scans have shown that little Caolan is clear from cancer.
The family are fundraising to help cover the costs of travelling to America again.
"He's currently in his sixth cycle of chemo but after that Ireland has nothing else to offer him. We're trying to see if America can offer us something to prevent a relapse again," said Stacey.
"We had the money raised before but when Caolan took ill in America all the money went to those bills."
Despite his ongoing treatment, Stacy said that Caolan is in good form.
"It's awful but it becomes part of your life.
"We're trying everything we can for Caolan but there really needs to be more research into preventing childhood cancer and the relapse."
You can donate to Caolan's fund here