LEINSTER rugby star and Herald columnist Bernard Jackman has pledged his support to the appeal for little Mannix Kane, who is bravely battling cancer.
Jackman has agreed to be the VIP guest at the Mannix Kane Appeal's gala night out, the 'Buttercup Ball', on Friday June 25.
The appeal comes some six months after four-year-old Mannix, who is from Kildalkey in Co Meath, was diagnosed with an extremely rare form of cancer.
He has been undergoing chemotherapy and radiotherapy in the last few months.
He was diagnosed with stage four clear cell sarcoma two weeks before Christmas. This cancer is so rare that only 20 new cases are discovered in America each year, meaning that research into this condition is not that extensive, resulting in a survival rate of just 40pc.
Family and friends have rallied around little Mannix and his parents Noeleen and Brian in a bid to raise funds for life-saving treatment in America.
Leinster star Jackman told the Herald that he was happy to help when friends approached him and asked him to get involved.
"A group from Navan came to me and asked me would I get involved and I was delighted, to help to be honest," he said.
"It's been very, very tough for Mannix and his family but people have really been rallying around to help to raise the money for America if it's required.
"Hopefully the Buttercup Ball will provide the necessary boost to the funds to make a possible trip to America a reality."
Mannix's parents are fundraising to send their little son to America for clinical trials should the chemotherapy prove unsuccessful.
Shirley Deakin, a leading fundraiser for the Mannix Kane Appeal, told the Herald that Mannix has had many setbacks but continues to battle the rare disease.
"He has spent almost all of the past three months in Crumlin undergoing combined chemo and radiation treatment (this is done at St Luke's Hospital)," said Ms Deakin.
Tickets for the Buttercup Ball are priced at €100 each and tables of 10 are still available for the event which takes place in the Knightsbrook Hotel, Trim, Co Meath.