The Miriam Kennedy Cancer Fund
I never thought that I would be writing this to you today. I am a 48 year old mum originally from Castletown/Ballyagran Co. Limerick, and the daughter of the late Bridie and Mike Kennedy. I live in Charleville, Co. Cork with my very supportive husband Liam McCarthy and our two wonderful children, Caoimhe and Tiarnan.
I attended Trinity College Dublin (St. Catherine's College of Home Economics) and following my degree, I have forged a career for myself as a Home Economics and Irish teacher. I have been extremely lucky to have worked with the wonderful staff at St Marys Secondary School- Charleville, Laurel Hill Coláiste- Luimneach, Scoil Carmel- Limerick City (1994- 2016) and more recently the staff of John The Baptist Community School in Hospital Co. Limerick.
Late 2017 I received the devastating news that I had an inoperable cancer. We couldn’t believe it! It was like the light had been crushed from my soul. Naturally, as many in my position do, I put on my game face, promising my family that I would fight this diagnosis. We as a family have been on an overwhelming life altering journey as I received treatment to shrink my tumours and a number of surgeries to remove my stage 4B cancer.
Unfortunately, my recent scan in May revealed the crushing news for us that my treatment to date has not been fully successful and that my cancer still remains. In early June proposed further surgery and radiotherapy were taken off the table due to the complex position of one of my tumours which is located in a node close to my heart. As a consequence, further chemotherapy is also not an option. Disappointingly, I also don't qualify for any trials in Ireland or Europe and currently all frontline treatments have been exhausted to me. In June I felt that my future was similar to being in a short corridor where all the possible exit doors have been locked!
However, despite this overwhelming news we as a family continued to persevere and on June 28th, I was lucky enough to test suitable for Immunotherapy, which is currently my only treatment option. It was like as if that locked exit door now had a key. I received my first dose of Immunotherapy on the 15th of August. The downside of this potentially life-saving treatment however, is that I must self-fund its cost which is in excess of 110,000 euro. This is a yearly expense and for an indefinite amount of time. This is why I am reaching out to you, as the cost of this treatment is too much to sustain for me and my family. Normally I am a very private person but I have to do this for my husband and for my children. It’s my only wish in the world and if that means sacrificing my privacy to tell my story then I am glad to do it.
If you could support our GoFundMe by making a donation and then sharing it with your network, We would greatly appreciate it. I know that money can be tight, so please know that every little bit helps me get closer to fulfilling my hope to live and see my children grow up.
Miriam, Liam, Caoimhe and Tiarnan.