Friday 24 May 2019

Caroline leaves a long-lasting legacy

John Manning

A Skerries mother who battled a rare form of cancer for most of her life is to have a lasting legacy by helping fellow cancer-sufferers battle the disease.

The charitable trust set up for Caroline Fagan Heyenga, a Skerries mother who battled a rare form of cancer form age nine, to 32, when she finally succumbed to the disease, will redistribute all the funds it raised in her name in a bid to save future lives from the scourge of cancer.

The Caring for Caroline Medical Trust is proud to announce the redirection of funds raised to date across 10 leading Irish cancer charities and research groups, identified fro blazing trails in the field of cancer research and care.

Established in 2014, the rust was set up to help fund Caroline's access to new drug trials around the world.

Caroline battled a rare form of follicular thyroid carcinoma from the age of nine, and was the youngest case in Europe when she was diagnosed in 1991.

Sadly, Caroline passed away on September 4, 2014 at the age of 32 before the funds raised for her treatment could be used.

The trust has had considerable successes in progressing cancer treatments for others, however.

The trust has already successfully secured access for Irish and EU cancer sufferers to a new trial drug which was unavailable in Europe and Ireland before 2014.

The trust says that 100% of the funds it has raised will go towards various research and support programmes.

These will include clinical trials and cancer research programmes in Caroline's name.

The trust will also fund new equipment and facilities within radiation oncology as well as education, psychological support and palliative care for cancer patients.

The trust also hopes the funds it has raised will help to support adults and children affected by cancer.

Among the many charities that will benefit from the funds raised by the trust are The Caroline Foundation, Cancer Trials Ireland, Breakthrough Cancer Research, St Francis Hospice, the Gary Kelly Centre, Barretstown, LauraLynn Children's Hospice, The Friends of St Luke's and the Marie Keating Foundation.

Richard Fagan, Chairman of the Caring for Caroline Medical Trust said: 'Caroline would have wanted as much good as possible to be paid forward, and to this end we are proud to now distribute the remaining trust funds to other worthy causes.'

Mr Fagan added: 'We have invested a lot of time in ensuring recipients are aligned to what we be4lieve is the most progressive and impactful work to save lives from cancer in the future.'

The charitable trust chairman concluded: 'We sincerely thank family, friends and the local community for their trojan support and work in creating the trust, and raising significant sums of money.'

Fingal Independent