A MAJOR fund-raising campaign is underway to support a brave little girl from Castlederg who has recently been diagnosed with a rare form of cancer.
Five-year-old Lucy McGeehan is currently battling Ewing’s Sarcoma, a rare form of bone and soft tissue cancer.
Now, friends and family of the McGeehan family have joined forces to raise much-needed funds to support them through this difficult time.
Speaking to the TyroneHerald Lucy’s mother Lynne said that the past few months, since Lucy’s diagnosis in August “have been surreal”.
“We had been away on holidays and Lucy was happily running around Alton Towers.
“As we were getting ready to come home we realised that she was constipated. I didn’t think too much of it but after three weeks she was still
“The doctors had been giving us different types of medicine but nothing was working. It wasn’t until she lost the power of her legs that we were admitted to Altnagelvin Hospital. That was on a Friday evening and we were sent to Belfast the following day. Lucy was sent for an MRI on Sunday and in the middle of that they came to get us and we were told they had found a tumour.”
What has followed since then has been an intensive treatment regime in which Lucy has had to undergo surgery which has been successful in removing the majority of the tumour. She has also undergone five sessions of chemotherapy with nine more to follow between now and Christmas. In the New Year, the family will also travel to Germany for Proton Beam Therapy.
Fortunately, Lucy has been responding well to treatment and Lynne explained she holds a positive outlook on what the future will bring.
“My nephew was diagnosed with a different type of cancer, neuroblastoma, when he was just four-years-old. He is now a strapping 14-year-old and that is something that has kept me going. Doctors have told us that Lucy’s outlook is pretty good although we know she still has a long journey ahead of her she is bouncing back from all of it.”
She continued, “We are very lucky that all of Lucy’s treatment is covered by the hospital but we have all the associated costs to think about.
“My husband Paul, who is originally from Manorcunningham is working part time at the moment as we look after Lucy and when we travel to Germany we could be there for at least six weeks and we will have no wages coming in.
“There is also the possibility that Lucy will need further specialised surgery which can only take place in Birmingham.
“Initially we were reluctant to have a public fund-raising campaign but we didn’t plan to be in this situation and our friends and family have just been amazing.”
A spokesperson for the Lucy vs Cancer campaign added, “Lucy is one brave little girl and is doing all she can to fight whatever cancer throws at her; and she’s doing it all with a smile on her face.
“That’s why friends of Lucy and the McGeehan family have set up the fund-raising campaign ‘Lucy vs Cancer’ to support Lucy and her whole family as she undergoes treatment and battles against cancer.
“We hope the fund-raising efforts will help to cover a portion of the many costs associated with her treatment for her family and any further specialist treatment that will be required further down the line.”
The first major event in the campaign will see The Big Shave for Lucy take place in Biddy Friel’s, Drumoghill on Saturday, November 24 from 9pm.
The campaign spokesperson explained, “On the night we will be shaving our heads in solidarity with Lucy and we’ll be waxing backs.
“We’re currently looking for any volunteers to take part and are encouraging as many people as possible to get involved with the campaign.”
If you would like to volunteer to get your head shaved or back waxed for The Big Shave event please send a message to the fundraisers through either the Gofundme or Facebook page.
The spokesperson concluded, “Any support you can give will be greatly appreciated and your generosity will go a long way to helping Lucy and her family on her road to recovery.”