Cancer teen (17) desperately seeks funding to freeze eggs before intense chemotherapy - 'The future I want is full of love, travel and adventure'
The mother of an Irish teenager has launched a public appeal to help raise vital funds, which will be used to freeze her daughter’s eggs and allow her to conceive in the future.
Leona Tynan’s daughter Shauntelle (17) was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer, Histiocytosis X, in 2015 but because she has already begun treatment for the disease, she is not entitled to have a state-funded procedure to freeze her eggs and protect her fertility.
The 17-year-old from Carlow has been undergoing chemotherapy for five consecutive days in every 21 to help battle the disease and is at the centre of a fundraising campaign to support her ongoing medical care in Texas, where she is undergoing life saving treatment.
However, the teen’s mother Leona hopes that the family will be able to raise in excess of €4,000 to help freeze Shauntelle’s eggs before they are destroyed by the effects of chemotherapy treatment.
“My daughter has deteriorated and was transferred to Beaumont because so many parts of her brain and hormones have been affected by her treatment. It was advised that she attend the Rotunda IVF clinic to have her eggs retrieved for future use as she may not ever be able to conceive,” she said.
“However, this option was never explained to us before Shan began her treatment. Because Shauntelle did not avail of egg retrieval before chemotherapy commenced she is unable to have the procedure funded. She will have to go private. This means each consult will cost €160 and egg retrieval and freezing will cost in excess of €4000,” she said.
The mum revealed that the situation is very distressing for Shauntelle, as she is looking towards a bright future to get her through the dark days of her cancer treatment.
“Obviously time is not on our side regarding an appeal. Shauntelle is very anxious to have the option to start a family in the future.
“This has left my daughter distraught and we do not have time for a lengthy appeal when she needs the procedure so soon,” said Leona.
Earlier this year, brave schoolgirl Shan opened up about her experience as part of Independent.ie’s Living with Cancer week.
“I don't want sympathy I just want to win this battle. Everyone tells me I'm strong and honestly when I look at everything I feel strong, the weak moments done define me the strong ones do,” Shan said.
“They get me to tomorrow and give me a peek into my future, the future I want full of love, travel, adventure and good health.
“Someone once told me that life only gives you what it knows you can handle so in a way I'm clinging onto that in the hope that I will fight and I will survive the battle,” said Shan.
To donate to Shan’s campaign please visit www.idonate.ie