Saturday 21 April 2018

Katie Taylor shares Olympic gold with little girl (4) fighting rare cancer

Aishling Phelan

Olympic gold-medallist Katie Taylor has won the hearts of the nation and now she has outdone herself again.

The boxer visited a four-year-old girl fighting an aggressive childhood cancer of the nervous system to flash a smile for photographs and sign some memorabilia from her fights.

Last August, Merryn Lacy was taken into hospital and CT scans revealed she had Neuroblastoma.

‘‘She has stage four which has a high possibility of relapse and it was crucial that she received intense treatment,’’ her father Michael Lacy told

Friends began to fundraise to support the little girl’s treatment and a friend introduced the family to successful athlete Taylor.

‘‘Katie had read about [Merryn] in the Wicklow Times and she was just brilliant, couldn’t have asked for a nicer person,’’ he said.

‘‘Merryn has a new hero now and she has become a patron of our cause,’’ he added.

The Olympic champion donated and signed gloves, a vest and shorts she had worn in one of her fights.

She scooped the little girl up in her arms and beamed a wide smile for photographs.

Other famous supporters of Merryn’s cause include Hollywood actor Colin Farrell and Love/Hate star Peter Coonan.

‘‘She is currently undergoing front line treatment under the incredible team in Our Lady's Children's Hospital in Crumlin, which will last approximately 18 months, where we hope at the end of it we'll get our little girl back,’’ Mr Lacy said.

‘‘Merryn is like most other 4-year-old girls. She plays with her dolls, likes dressing up as a princess, dancing to music and will most likely be wearing something pink,’’ he added.

To find out more about the cause visit the Merryn Facebook page or email for more information about donating.

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