The ‘Future for Fiadh’ fundraiser has now returned in a bid to get the Wexford child to New York for further life-saving treatment.
THE family of a four-year old child who has already survived one life-threatening battle with cancer have devastatingly confirmed that her cancer has returned for a second time. Fiadh O’Connor from The Ballagh, Co Wexford, captured the hearts of her home county, and indeed the whole country, when the ‘Future for Fiadh’ fundraiser was initially launched back in October of 2020. With beautiful Fiadh front and centre, her family, Mam Laura, Dad Rory and little brother Páidí, managed to raise over €400,000 so that she could receive experimental cancer treatment in the US.
Initially, the treatment seemed to be successful and Fiadh came on in leaps and bounds, but this week her parents were forced to deliver some devastating news and start fundraising once again in earnest to save their little girl’s life for a second time.
"We are heartbroken to have to write this update,” they said. “Fiadh’s cancer has returned. It is our worst nightmare. At only 4 years of age, Fiadh is fighting for her life for a second time. We need your help to get Fiadh to New York for life-saving surgery to remove an 8cm tumour attached to the major blood vessels in her tummy and give her intra-operative radiation therapy to try to get rid of this cancer for good.”
Fiadh was initially diagnosed with one of the most aggressive forms of children’s cancer in Christmas of 2019. In the space of a week she went from being a 20 month old with a swollen tummy to being diagnosed with a cancerous tumour the size of a melon at 14cm, neuroblastoma, which had already spread to her bones and lungs.
A bright and playful child, Fiadh battled through chemotherapy, surgeries, stem cell transplants and long stints in hospital before the fundraiser meant that she could travel to New York for a pioneering cancer vaccine.
Fiadh’s doctors in both Crumlin Children’s Hospital and Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Centre in New York have now advised that Fiadh once again needs extensive surgery with intraoperative radiotherapy in order to save her life. This full-day surgery around her vital organs and intra-operative radiotherapy treatment is not available in Ireland and once again necessitates the family taking her to world-leading experts in the US.
“We are currently focusing on getting Fiadh through the next 4 weeks of chemotherapy in Crumlin before she has to travel to MSK for surgery,” her parents said. “We appreciate every support you have all given us so far and it breaks our hearts to have to ask for help again. As any person would understand, we will do anything we can to help Fiadh survive.
“Medical treatment in America is very expensive and while the Future For Fiadh Trust has remaining funds after her initial treatment in MSK, we need a further €119,950 to get Fiadh access to the life-saving surgery and radiotherapy for treatment of her relapse. This money will pay for Fiadh’s medical treatment only. Fiadh’s close family and friends will continue to help her family with expenses.”
Already having been blown away by the generosity of the people of Wexford, the family are once again asking people to donate whatever they can at gofundme.com/f/future-for-fiadh, and donations have already been flooding in as people flock to help the adorable four year-old.