More than €35,500 was raised in less than 20 hours for the family of new mum Chloe Kavanagh, who, having beaten Covid-19, is battling cancer.
Chloe was just 20 weeks into her first pregnancy when she was diagnosed with a stage 3 brain tumour in November.
In early December, she underwent surgery while still pregnant to have the tumour removed but was then told by the doctors in Beaumont Hospital that they were unable to have all the tumour removed by surgery and she would require rigorous rounds of both radiotherapy and chemotherapy.
However, the main priority at the time was ensuring the safe delivery of her baby and on March 2 Chloe and her husband of two years, Ian, welcomed a beautiful baby boy, Sam six weeks early, into the world.
Just two weeks after Sam was born, Chloe had to leave him to begin six weeks of radiotherapy in Beaumont.
During this time she was dealt another blow when she tested positive for Covid-19 and had to remain in isolation for the remainder of this treatment.
However, being the amazing fighter that she is, Chloe beat the virus and was able to continue with her radiotherapy and finally get back home to Sam, Ian and her family.
Her time at home again was very short lived and she was again brought back to Beaumont one week later with some complications.
Her good friends Shannon O'Neill, Laura Bolger and Kelly Ann Whelan, seeing her suffer and wanting to do something for the family, decided to go all out with a hair-raising idea to raise money and will have their heads shaved on June 13.
They set an ambitious target of €5,000 on GoFundMe, but within an hour had to increase it to €10,000 such was the response from the Graiguenamanagh community.
Kelly Ann said: 'Chloe is a character: very witty and funny and always up for the craic. When she was diagnosed in November no one really thought it was going to be anything like this. It completely turned the whole town upside down. Graiguenamanagh is a great community, especially when something like this happens. The response over the past three months and with this has just blown us away.'
Chloe returned home from hospital yesterday (Monday), having previously only had two of Sam's eleven weeks with him.
'She knows what we are doing. Every cent is going directly to the family, to her husband as he has been out of work and there are a lot of costs that come with having a newborn baby. We want them to be able to do the things they need to do and not to have that financial worry, and so that he doesn't have to return to work.'
A well-known man in the community, Ian hurls with Graigue. The couple have been together since their teens and Ian has stood by Chloe through some very difficult moments over recent years, including the loss of her father five years ago, her mother's battle with breast cancer and her grandmother's passing.
Kelly Ann said both Ian and Chloe would be the first to assist anyone in the community who had fallen on hard times.
'We knew we would get plenty of support. We thought €10,000 would be unbelievable and now we're at over €35,000. We are trying to keep things light-hearted as they have been through a lot of the last couple of years.'
'Sam is flying it, thank God. We just want people know how amazing a person Chloe is. She is a fighter and we are 100 per cent behind her.'
As for having their hair shaved, the Graigue girls aren't one bit bothered.
'The hair will grow back and so many people don't have that choice. We will have to get a few peak caps.'
They plan to trust relations with the responsibility of shaving their heads in their respective back yards and gardens on June 13 live on Facebook.
New Ross Standard