Sunday 16 December 2018

Robyn (13) will become the first Irish person to receive ground-breaking cancer treatment

Ten year old Robyn Smyth at Dublin Airport
Ten year old Robyn Smyth at Dublin Airport
Robyn Smyth. Pic: Robynslife / Instagram
Brave teenager Robyn Smyth. Photo: Paul Sheridan
Robyn Smyth (11) is back in the US for cancer tests Photo: Facebook
Bernadette Dornan, from Whitehall in north Dublin, with her daughters Robyn Smyth (12) and Millie Smyth (5) in 2015
Ten year old Robyn Smyth with her mum Bernadette Dornan
Ten year old Robyn Smyth with her mum Bernadette Dornan
Ten year old Robyn Smyth with her sister Millie (3) at Dublin Airport
Family pic is of Bernadette Dornan, from Whitehall in north Dublin, with her daughters Robyn Smyth, 10, and Millie Smyth, three. Other pic is of Robyn Smyth
Robyn Smyth, 10

Sarah Slater

An Irish teenager is travelling to the US this week for her ground breaking treatment.

Robyn Smyth (13), from Whitehall in Dublin, has been fighting the aggressive cancer, neuroblastoma, since the age of three, will become the first Irish person to be admitted on to a treatment trial in New York.

Her mum Bernadette raised €326,000 for her daughter’s medical treatment after an emotional appeal for help from the public.

Robyn has already undergone extensive treatment in Ireland, but she was accepted on to the new trial at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Centre in New York. She was accepted following two good scans at the Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital in Michigan.

Bernadette said: “We reached the magic mark of having enough money to pay for the ground breaking trial treatment over the weekend and all of the family can’t put into words how grateful and relieved we are."

“My head was spinning at the thought of getting Robyn this far and not being able to get her on the trial that could potentially put an end to this monster. We don't know what the future holds but because of you we have hope.

However, Bernadette added: “We are all so relieved but worried too. After we make the upfront payment to the hospital then there will be no money left.

“So I’m pleading with people to keep donating as there will be non stop flight and living costs while in the US. Obviously we will be using up as much as our personal finances as well.

Family pic is of Bernadette Dornan, from Whitehall in north Dublin, with her daughters Robyn Smyth, 10, and Millie Smyth, three.
Other pic is of Robyn Smyth
Family pic is of Bernadette Dornan, from Whitehall in north Dublin, with her daughters Robyn Smyth, 10, and Millie Smyth, three. Other pic is of Robyn Smyth

“I’ve come this far for my daughter who doesn’t know what it’s like to live a life without sickness and I’ll fight and fight to keep her with us. She deserves to have a life but she’s so fragile right now.

“Our flight on Wednesday can’t come half soon enough. The hospital’s medical team will meet with Robyn on Thursday so we are really hoping they are optimistic about how everything will go for Robyn.

“Robyn’s health battles have obviously affected our family on every level over the years and it hasn’t been easy but it’s made us strong too and we will never give up on her.”

Up until last month fundraising had stalled and just €70,000 had been raised. The plea led to Erin McGregor, sister of UFC king Conor, starting a floss dance challenge in a desperate bid to help save Robyn’s life whom she has been secretly helping.

The brave teenager was given just a 30 per cent chance of surviving when she was first diagnosed with cancer at Our Lady’s Hospital in Crumlin.

Three years ago, Robyn's chances of survival dropped to five per cent and her family were told to bring her home to die. But her family decided to fundraise to take her to US based Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital in Michigan.

Ten year old Robyn Smyth at Dublin Airport
Ten year old Robyn Smyth at Dublin Airport

In between her visits to the US, of which she has been on more than 80 flights since 2015, Robyn continues to take chemotherapy tablets and has blood tests and other related treatment at Our Lady’s Hospital for Sick Children in Crumlin.

“Donations can be made on robynslife@live.com, idonate.ie/robynslife and gofundme.com/robynslife,” added Bernadette.

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