The heart stopping video of an 18 year old cancer patient pleading for her life might just have saved her. 18-year-old Shauntelle Tynan from Carlow begged viewers to donate as little as a euro to a fund for her cancer treatment and in just a few days raised the $527,000 (€500,000) needed.
Shauntelle was diagnosed in 2015 with an ultra rare form of cancer called multi system histiocytosis x (LCH) and has so far received five unsuccessful sets of treatment. The cancer was originally found in her ears, skin and the pituitary gland of her brain but has since spread to her colon and stomach. No doctors in Europe know much about LCH and she’s been told her last real chance lies in the US where specialist treatment at the Texas Children’s Hospital might save her.
With the money now raised she can expect to fly out to the US next month.
I'm just praying Shauntelle Tynan gets the money she needs, so heartbreaking:(— jessie? (@jessie_lulxxxxx) February 14, 2017
"The last 38 hours has been a place of love and the people of Ireland have truly came together to help me get better and for that I'm truly thankful. There has been few haters but millions of lovers and each person showing positivity helps us through each day and we are truly over the moon.
"The good always outshines the bad and I now have a true chance at beating this and it is all down to all who shared, commented and donated. I am so excited for my little brother and sister to come home from school to hear that I have made enough to go to Texas."
Shantelle’s relieved mother told their local radio station that Ireland was a “mighty little country” and that they were “blown away” by the support for the campaign.
"We have raised over €300k in 36 hours through Shauntelle's video.
"I haven't stopped crying, I haven't slept. We live in a mighty little country and I can't believe that people have been so good. This has been raised by about 18,000 people.
"It's whatever people have. It hasn't stopped. We're nearly there. We're going to get her there and we can't believe it."
The campaign got a big boost when MMA fighter Andrew Murphy announced he would donate all the proceeds from his next fight to help fund Shauntelle’s trip.
“As a father to a one year old son seeing Shauntelle's video really hit me hard,” he told his followers on Facebook.
“Next week I fight in the SSE Arena on the biggest show to hit Ireland this year. I have decided to give ALL of my ticket sale deal to Shauntelles [sic] fund to help get her to Texas. Please pm me if looking for tickets. I have a number of €40 tickets available. And if they all sell I will ask for more. Let's raise the roof in Belfast, and let's get Shauntelle to Texas!”
Go Fund Me have confirmed the sum is the biggest ever raised by an Irish person and the the $500,000 - and climbing - will fund the entirety of her treatment.
Shauntelle is ineligible for funding under the Irish Government’s Treatment Abroad program as her care will take place outside of the European Union.
"We’ve been emailing my government to get them to help us with costs but if you fly outside of Europe, they don’t help with medical costs. It’s ridiculous, €350k doesn’t mean anything to our government and this is my life. I’m an Irish citizen and I just wish they’d help. It’s so sad that my life is being put on a number and how much money we need to make,” she said in the video.
Her mother Leona has written several letters to the Department of Health but has been rebuffed numerous times. “We have done everything in our power to get her life back and pleaded with the Minister for Health for support but because Shauntelle requires care outside of the criteria for the treatment abroad scheme as her treatment is not within Europe. We have been swamped with acts and legislation all coming down to a big no,” the Irish Independent reported her saying.
Even though Leona has given up work to take care of her daughter full time, she won’t be making the move with her to Texas on March 29. Instead she will be staying put instead in Carlow with her two youngest children but will be going back and forth as much as she can.
If you want to make a donation to Shauntelle’s page you can do so here.