Fundraising efforts for Slav's treatment ongoing
There's some positive news for Slav Vavro, the Laytown teenager diagnosed with a rare form of cancer, with the confirmation he will travel to America in June to see two top specialists.
13-year-old Slav, who is a pupil of Gormanston College, was diagnosed with Alveolar Rhabdomyosarcoma, a rare skeletal muscle cancer, in late January.
His mum Nadia, who is raising money for his treatment on a Go Fund Me page, will travel with her son to New York and Washington on June 15th to visit two sarcoma specialists in a bid to receive treatment.
"We have been in touch with Dr Wexler at the Memorial Sloane hospital in New York since February, and we are happy that we now have an appointment to see him at last," says Nadia.
"We have a great oncologist here, but there is no specialist, and this doctor is said to be the best in the world."
To double their chances, they are also using the time to see another specialist in Washington, as there is no guarantee Slav will be compatible for treatment.
"We can't just wait for one, so we are trying to make the most of the trip, but each specialist has to meet Slav, make their own diagnosis, and then we start to hope treatment will be offered."
But that would only be the start of a very long and expensive journey.
Nadia and Slav say they are grateful to the Gavin Glynn Foundation, who have covered the cost of flights and accommodation to America for Nadia and Slav, however, that cost of treatment will be astronomical.
"It's amazing the travel costs have been covered, however, just to see the consultant costs $6,500, and even though we are close to raising our original goal of €50,000, that won't stretch very far if he is lucky enough to get treatment," explains his mum.
"We are so grateful to everyone who has donated and raised funds so far, but we have to keep going to raise as much as we can."
Slav, who lives in Minnistown, is undergoing chemotherapy in Blackrock Clinic, the only hospital in Ireland to offer the form he needs.
Nadia says he is doing okay, but it is taking a toll on them all.
"He is a cheerful boy, but it is all I am concentrating on, and it is very hard at times," says Nadia, who is also mum to Michaela (23) and 15-year-old Vlad. "I can't leave him on his own, and it really is a nightmare for any family to have to face."
Fundraising events are ongoing, with War Fitness in Balbriggan running a charity event on Saturday June 9th in Flemington Community Centre from 10am to 11.30, as well as many runners in the Mini-Marathon on June 3rd raising money for Slave.
"People are always trying to help, with events like the one in Rush Camera Club and the coffee morning in the Lime Kiln really helping, and we would love people to come up with more ideas to add to the funds," she adds.
"Donations can also be made directly to the Go Fund Me page https://ie.gofundme.com/help4slav or find out more on the Facebook page 'Help for Slav (Rhabdomyosarcoma)' - every cent will go towards his treatment."