A LOVING grandfather is rallying public support to raise much need funds for his grandson’s cancer treatment.
Paul Staunton from the Curragh is organising a number of fundraisers to help with specialised treatment for three-year-old Odhrán Staunton Doherty.
Odhrán is currently receiving treatment for a very rare bladder cancer but the results are not as positive as the Doherty family were hoping. They are now faced with the only option of receiving specialised treatment in France, which will place an immense financial burden on the family.
Paul has set up a GoFundMe page and organised a fundraiser in the Curragh Camp where he was stationed for many years at the School of Physical Culture.
“They are flying to France on 16 February but they don’t know if they’ll have to stay for three or six months,” said Paul. “He will undergo an exploratory operation to see if the cancer has spread to any other organs.”
Odhrán has bladder cancer which is extremely rare in children and usually found in patients aged 55 plus.
“We are told that he’s the only one in Europe his age with this cancer,” Paul added.
Odhrán is one of five children to Paul’s daughter Ebony and her partner Conor. He has three brothers Seán, Cody and Caden and a younger sister Holly.
“In fairness to them they have managed to keep the family as normal as they possibly can in the circumstances. He is averaging two and a half days in hospital a week for the past six months so it hasn’t been easy,” he added.
“You can’t give little children morphine to manage pain so he has been through the mill pain wise.
“He was peeing blood and in horrific pain. He had to have three catheters put in to help relieve the pain and dropped from 20 kilos in weight to nine -and-a-half kilos. He was a stocky young fella when he was diagnosed at two years and four months.”
Odhrán’s doctor at Our Lady’s Hospital in Crumlin worked with a surgeon in France who specialises in treatment that can help Odhrán, a new key hole operation.
“I’m a very proud man but you drop your pride when it comes to your little grandchildren,” said Paul.
“Every poster I’ve put up in Newbridge, in every shop and pub, I’ve had nothing but good will. The people in this country are incredible.”
He paid particular thanks to a young man, Dillon Fleming, who has helped set up the GoFundMe page and the digital aspects of the fundraiser. Dillon’s mother is a lifelong friend of Ebony’s.
He also thanked Naas security company Manguard Plus for offering to finance a car for the family for a year and cover all petrol costs.
He is hoping to raise €20,000 to help cover costs and added that any money left over will be donated to Our Lady’s Hospital in Crumlin.
Paul has organised a fundraiser for The Mess in Ceannt Curragh Camp, on Friday 8 February. Tickets cost €5. Earlier in the day he hopes to hold a gig in the Whitewater Shopping Centre with a number of musician friends from 2-6pm. A golf classic is also planned for the end of March.
Anyone wishing to donate can do so by visiting the link https://www.gofundme.com/6l3d1uw