Meet my brother Tomás. He was diagnosed with Non Hodgkin’s Lymphoma in July 1999. It was the second of it’s type in Ireland. The Name given was Mid line Granuloma. Both the chemo and radium treatments that he received were very severe over a six month period. Tomás was given the last rights twice. With sheer will and determination he survived with major maxofacial issues which are still present today.
Tomás had been in remission for 20 years when last October he had been out cyclocross racing and hard. During the race he noticed that his heart rate measured 20 bpm above what it should have been for a lower perceived effort. He also started to experience heartburn and had some issues when eating.
After some back and forth with the GP, he had first biopsy in January 2020. While all this was in train he broke his pelvis in a bike accident in Spain in February. While in hospital there the result of the biopsy was received as inconclusive. More tests required. He came home by air ambulance straight into the Mercy University Hospital in Cork one week before Spain shut down due to Covid 19.
Two more biopsies in the MUH came up with the same results followed by a Bone Marrow biopsy and PET scan. In early April the suspected diagnosis was confirmed - K Cell Lymphoma – in the Oesophagus and his Bone Marrow - once again very rare in Ireland.
With his course of treatments agreed, he went into the Cork University Hospital on 26th of April. Since then he has completed two 21 day SMILE cycles of Chemotherapy and is currently in the middle of his third cycle with one more cycle to do. He has been home for Just 4 days since April to see his family.
It is this next part of his journey where Tomás needs your help. He must have a Bone Marrow transplant In St. James’ in Dublin once a donor has been found and that testing confirms that Tomás is in remission. This means he will spend a solid 3-6 months in Dublin in rented accommodation with a minder. The funds raised through this appeal will go towards medical and donor expenses not covered, the accommodation in Dublin and to help ease the financial burden for Tomás after he receives the transplant.
I am also calling on every person who is in the position to do so, to please consider becoming a Blood donor and/or Bone Marrow donor at www.giveblood.ie Remember, somebody somewhere needs your help.
Thank you for taking the time to read this appeal.