A fundraiser has been launched for a Dublin woman who needs €500,000 for a potentially life-saving cancer treatment trial in the United States.
Almost €200,000 has been raised for 36-year-old nurse Ciara Barry in the past three days, which she described as “overwhelming”.
Ms Barry has battled Hodgkin’s lymphoma three times in her short life, twice in her teens and then again in her twenties.
In her mid 30’s she was diagnosed with an aggressive type of blood cancer called High Risk Myelodysplastic Syndrome (MDS) and was treated at St James’ Hospital in Dublin for a year and a half.
Despite her best efforts, her blood cancer did not respond to treatment and she was informed that palliative care was her only remaining option.
Reluctant to accept the diagnosis, Ms. Barry began researching international medical trials and was offered a place on a clinical trial of Car-T cell therapy at the Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa, Florida, to begin on 1 June 2022.
CAR-T cell therapy works by manipulating the patient’s own cells to attack the disease.
The therapy is available to people fighting certain types of blood cancers in Ireland, but Ms Barry’s form of the disease is not included.
The clinical trial in Tampa requires a minimum stay of six weeks and Ms Barry was told the estimated cost of all medical treatment could be in excess of €500,000.
Ciara, who lives near Drimnagh with her husband Paddy, said the opportunity to take part in the process meant “everything” to her.
“Car [therapy] has given people remissions and great results and it’s a chance to transcend that and it’s a chance to have my life in front of me again and it doesn’t end at 36,” she said.
Ms Barry said her family, friends, work colleagues from Tallaght Hospital and even strangers were working together to raise enough money to bring her to the United States.
“I always knew the Irish were generous, but they hear a story and they want to do what they can,” she said.
“I have been contacted by people trying to arrange accommodation in Florida and see if there is anything they can do about the flight. Ireland is just so amazing for such a small island. It’s crazy what can happen when people put their heads together.”
Ms Barry added that her friends held their first fundraising committee meeting this week and they had secured Shane Lowry’s hat from the Irish Open as a raffle prize.
In a message published on the GoFundMe page, Ciara’s sister Claire Lynch said: “We never thought we would have to ask anyone but unfortunately we find ourselves in this situation.
“Ciara is an incredible person. She is a sunshine in every room she walks in and she truly is the light of our lives. We are so incredibly grateful for any support you can offer, no matter how big or small.
“Should there be any money left over from this site after medical expenses have been paid, Ciara will make sure the money goes to the wonderful charities and organizations that have helped her over the years: Make a Wish Foundation, CanTeen Ireland and St James’s Hospital Dublin.”
To donate, visit: gofundme.com/f/ciara-mooney.
https://www.independent.ie/news/gofundme-launched-for-dublin-woman-36-seeking-potentially-life-saving-us-cancer-treatment-trial-41598205.html GoFundMe was started for a Dublin woman, 36, looking for a potentially life-saving cancer treatment trial in the US