Two year old Cian in brave cancer fight

'Little warrior' Cian faces long Leukemia fight

Two and a half year old Cian Lenihan is currently undergoing a number of treatments for Leukemia in the Crumlin Children's Hospital.
Two and a half year old Cian Lenihan is currently undergoing a number of treatments for Leukemia in the Crumlin Children's Hospital.

Fergus Dennehy

A Tralee mother has said that her two-and-a-half year old son is lucky to have the people of Kerry behind him, after he was diagnosed with Leukemia in late January.

Dara Lenihan received the devastating news about her son Cian on January 26, a day before she herself was due to celebrate her 22nd birthday.

"He had flu like symptoms all week and when things got worse, we rushed him to the hospital that Thursday where he has been undergoing treatment ever since," Dara said.

Describing her son as a "robust little warrior", Dara says that while they have been told that the Leukemia itself is very treatable, the road ahead for her and her family is a long one. 

"We were told that he is going to need to have blood transfusions often, as his bone marrow isn't making any blood on its own," she continued. "He had an operation on Monday to put in something called a 'Hickman Line' which will stop the need for needles and pain; bloods, chemo, fluid and platelets can all be given through this line, which goes directly to his heart."

"The doctors have had to take fluid from his spine to see if the cancer had spread to either there or his brain fluid; chemo will also be injected into the spine as well as the treatment continues, even if there is no cancer there, just to be sure, they say," she added.  Dara says that while she has learned that Leukemia is the most common form of cancer among children, she never expected the disease to come to her own doorstep.

"My family and I never thought that something like this could happen to us. I know that he will get through this, but I can't help feeling upset that he will lose so much of his childhood to this," she said. Since learning the news about Cians diagnosis, Dara says that the outpouring of support that she has received from the community has been absolutely overwhelming.

"All of the kinds words that we have received have been so  kind and so helpful. It's so amazing to see how everyone has come together and is thinking of my Cian; to see all the love and support is simply beautiful." While the Leukemia is thankfully treatable, Dara says that she and her family will need some help financially to make sure that Cian gets the best possible treatment. Having already raised just over €1,000, Dara is appealing to anyone who wants to help, to donate to little Cians fight for life.

"Over the next couple of years, Cian is going to need constant hospital and home care. This warrior is facing a battle that he will win but we, his parents, will need a lot of time off to help him in this fight," she finished. Dara has set up a fundraising page at www.ifundraise.ie/3831_the-cian-lenihan-support-fund.html and all the funds raised from this campaign will go towards Cians travel costs, medicine costs and all special equipment required.

Kerryman

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