Classifieds Advertise Archive Subscriptions Family Announcements Photos Digital Editions/Apps
Connect with us

News

€250k needed to send Grace to hospital in US

Denise McNamara

Published

on

A fundraising drive has begun in earnest to send an eight-year-old girl battling an aggressive cancer for the third time to America for a clinical trial.

Grace Kenneally from Tirellan Heights is currently on a short break during her third round of chemotherapy. A scan in April will determine whether the nueroblastoma tumour has shrunk sufficiently to allow medics to operate. That procedure is so rare she will have to travel to the UK where a specialist has had some success with removing tumours that close to vital organs.

However, a family friend, Jennifer Fahy Ainsworth, said it was now increasingly likely that Grace would have to be accepted onto a clinical trial if she was to avoid yet another relapse.

Any American trial would likely cost in the region of €250,000.

“Graces’s mam Ethna was reluctant to do any fundraising. She’s on her own and was totally focused on getting Grace better. She didn’t have the headspace to think about money. Nobody thinks you should have to think about money when it comes to your child’s life,” explained Jennifer.

“But we now face the situation that if we don’t raise this massive amount of money Grace might not have the best chance there is to survive this.”

Coffee mornings, a live gig in Monroes and other events have so far raised €18,000.

Jennifer is spearheading their biggest fundraiser yet in the form of a dinner dance at the Westwood Hotel on May 2.

Grace was originally diagnosed with Stage 3 Neuroblastoma in September 2010. She was treated with chemotherapy and surgery for six months but she relapsed in January 2012. A more rigorous regime followed in the form of stronger chemo, radiation and Cis-Retinoic acid, an oral chemo which ended in February 2013.

Following severe pain in her back, Grace was admitted to University Hospital Galway with suspected appendicitis. Further tests revealed that the tumour, which appeared stable in a scan on October 1, had doubled in size.

While there are no survivors of relapsed neuroblastoma in Ireland, Ethna has come across several children in the US who continue to live despite four and five relapses.

Grace is aware the tumour has grown. She had only just returned to a normal childhood over the summer following the removal of her medical tube, learning to ride a bike, mastering swimming, camogie and the trampoline.

For more on this story, see the Galway City Tribune.

Continue Reading

Connacht Tribune

Biden is a Maree man!

Keith Kelly

Published

on

US President-election Joe Biden.

The connections of incoming US President, Joe Biden, to Mayo and Louth on his mother’s side of his family have been widely reported – but it has emerged that he has just as strong links to a small townland outside Oranmore through his father’s side…as recently as four generations ago.

And the news has led to hopes that the President-elect will include a trip to Galway in any itinerary for a visit to Ireland during his presidency – and it is being reported this week that the incoming president will make Ireland his first state visit when he assumes office.

Contact had been made with An Taoiseach Enda Kenny’s office with the news of the President-elect’s Galway links ahead of his visit to Ireland in 2016, but Liam Hanniffy – who has uncovered the link between his family and that of Mr Biden, was told that the itinerary had already been planned, and a visit to Galway was not possible.

Liam Hanniffy, who is from Ballinacourty in Maree, has been researching his family tree since been contacted by a man from America in 2014 saying they were third cousins, and both were also related to the then US Vice-President, Joe Biden.

Research by Liam has discovered that a man called John Hanniffy, who was born just over 200 years ago in Ballinacourty Hill in Maree, is actually the great-great grandfather of the President-elect – and to make the Galway link even stronger, John Hanniffy married a woman whose parents was also born in the same townland, meaning two of his great-great-great grandparents also came from the same townlands nestled on Galway Bay.

Read the full story in this week’s Connacht Tribune, in shops now. Or you can download our digital edition at www.connachttribune.ie

Continue Reading

Connacht Tribune

Galway all set to re-open for business

Dara Bradley

Published

on

Shop Street...business will be back.

Galway has earned the right to re-open – local lockdown sacrifices have suppressed the virus in the community, the latest figures confirm.

The collective effort of city and county residents over six weeks drove down the infection rate to one of the lowest in the country.

Gyms, all retail, hairdressers, personal services and possibly religious services and some entertainment are on course to re-open next week.

Government will announce plans for hospitality, with publicans, and in particular those who don’t serve food, hopeful they won’t be left behind. Plans to ease Christmas visiting restrictions will also be unveiled Friday.

Galway had one of Ireland’s highest Covid-19 figures when the country entered Level 5 lockdown in October but the latest stats reveal a massive turnaround.

Galway recorded 168 new confirmed cases in the fortnight to Monday, which equates to a 14-day incidence rate per 100,000 of 65.1, compared with the national average of 107.8. The incidence rate peaked at 313.9 per 100,000 in October when the number of weekly cases in Galway hit a staggering 500 – ten times this week’s total of 50 cases in the seven days up to Monday.

In the week to Saturday, 28 Covid outbreaks were recorded in the West, down from 36 the previous week. Eighteen of the new clusters were in private homes and nine were in extended family and community.

See full coverage in this week’s Connacht Tribune, in shops now. Or you can download our digital edition at www.connachttribune.ie

Continue Reading

Connacht Tribune

Galway mum’s support from home as toddler battles rare cancer

Denise McNamara

Published

on

Little fighter...Grace Bridges.

A Galway woman living in Sydney has been overwhelmed by the support shown by family and friends in her native Loughrea since her toddler Grace was diagnosed with a rare cancer last January.

“One of my friends said you can see Ireland with all the candles lighting for Grace,” reflects Emma Bane, over the phone from her child’s hospital bed which has become an all-too-familiar second home for the pair.

Yet still Grace fights, beating all the odds, as she approaches her second birthday on December 11. Metastatic Hepatoblastoma is so rare it affects one in a million children.

They returned to Westmead Hospital in the western suburbs of Sydney over a week ago after catching the common cold as her immune system is so compromised after 40 doses of chemotherapy.

Another 30 doses are planned.

“We call her our little warrior princess. She’s had three life-threatening trips to intensive care. When pathology looked at her blood sample her tumour markers were so high they couldn’t quantify them – they’d never seen anything like it. This is the third time we’ve been told she wouldn’t make it.”

Grace gets very sick when undergoing the chemo in 21 days cycles and usually has to be admitted due to severe diarrhoea and dehydration.

After her fifth surgery in September, oncologists warned that this latest round of chemo is her last chance at survival.

“They tell us to be hopeful and so far she’s beaten all the odds. That’s how amazing she is. She’s had 500 needles from February till October and 60 blood transfusions – she’s really been through the mill.”

As have Emma and her husband Adam Bridges.

 

There is a GoFundMe page set up to help with the cost of medical expenses. To contribute go to https://au.gofundme.com/f/grace-bridges

This is the correct address; there was a typographical error in the one which appears in this week’s paper and on the digital edition.

Read the full story in this week’s Connacht Tribune, in shops now. Or you can download our digital edition at www.connachttribune.ie

Continue Reading

Local Ads

Local Ads

Advertisement

Weather

Weather Icon
Advertisement

Facebook

Advertisement

Trending