Saturday 20 July 2019

Hurling fans dig deep for John Holmes

Pádraig Byrne

Wexford and Kilkenny fans put their rivalries aside on the way into Wexford park ahead of their vital Leinster Senior Hurling clash on Saturday to help give a Kilkenny man battling cancer a fighting chance.

While from Kilkenny, father of two John Holmes has Wexford connections in that he's an employee at CJ O'Loughlin's in Courtown, who are also planning a major fundraiser this week to help pay for his lifesaving treatment.

Funds are being raised so that the father of two can continue his lifesaving 'Pembro' cancer treatment, having been diagnosed back in 2012. The reason for the fundraising is that Pembro is not licensed by the HSE for his form of neo endocrine tumour. However, the government has already overridden HSE guidelines by making it available to victims of the Cervical Check scandal and then to all women affected by cervical cancer, but not father of two John.

John is now almost half way through the required 30 doses of Pembro, which comes with a cost of €5,111 every three weeks and a total cost of €150,000. His friends have been doing sterling work in fundraising and John is said to be doing well as a result of the treatment.

Hurling fans on both sides were extremely generous on their way into the big match and a total of €2,500 was raised through the bucket collection at the gates - nearly 50% of the cost of an infusion.

John's colleagues at CJ O'Loughlin's are now hoping to provide a major boost to the fundraising with a special night at the Coach House this Saturday, June 22. On the night, there will be a table quiz, as well as sponsored beard, leg and head shaves with John's wife Edel even getting in on the action.

Donations will be accepted on the night and a Go Fund Me Page is also available for donations to the cause under the title 'John Needs Pembro'. All contributions are greatly appreciated.

Alternately, sponsorship can be posted or handed in to Maeve Farrell in CJ O'Loughlin's, Courtown, Co. Wexford.

Gorey Guardian