The family of a Co. Cork 3-year-old girl needs to raise $300,000 for a life-saving brain operation in New York.
The parents of Megan Malone, are desperately trying to come up with the money to keep their daughter alive.
John and Shelia Malone are the parents of Megan, Chloe aged 7, Dylan aged 5 and newest addition to the family, Tristan only 4 weeks old.
On October 15th, this year, Megan was diagnosed with a very rare brain tumour, SPNET (Medulloblastoma), following a week of sickness.
It was also discovered that she has multiple brain tumours and the cancer has now spread to the spine and the rest of the brain.
"She had been vomiting and losing her balance and her speech was not 100%, so her GP referred her to Cork University Hospital (CUH) for a scan that showed a tumour," Megan's aunt, Brid Malone told the Irish Examiner.
"She was transferred to Temple St where doctors put in a shunt to drain the tumour and relieve some of the pressure on her brain, but a biopsy revealed she has a very aggressive form of cancer."
It is so rare that only two children in Ireland a year are diagnosed with such tumours and in Megan's case it is a highly malignant, grade four tumour.
Megan is currently undergoing chemotherapy at Our Lady's Children's Hospital, Crumlin.
The prognosis given in Ireland is less that 20% survival.
The Oncology and Radiology team in Ireland have never treated a child so young with this type of tumour so advanced.
The treatment is unavailable in Ireland and therefore Megan will have to travel abroad to the U.S. in the next 2-6 weeks to receive this treatment.
Since her diagnosis, Megan's dad has been by her side in Dublin, while her mother looks after her newborn and the rest of the children.
"It’s very, very tough on them, it’s a very difficult time for Sheila having to cope with this, in addition to having a new baby, but both Sheila and John are determined to do what is best for Megan," said Brid.
As soon as the money is raised and Megan is well enough to fly the entire family will come to New York.
"It’s heartbreaking, devastating, but people have been very kind, especially neighbours in Ballyvourney, and very supportive. We are spreading our fundraising drive over Cork, Limerick and Clare (the Malone family hails from Ennis and Bríd works in Dell in Limerick and so far businesses and individuals have been amazing."
An account for people in Ireland has been opened in Ulster Bank for those who wish to donate, sort code: 985482, a/n:10117900.
Details of fundraising events: www.meganmalonetrust.org or the Megan Malone Trust on Facebook.
Jackie Kennedy’s granddaughter has uncannily similar looks