This community campaign is giving hope to a local family during a difficult time.
People all over Donegal and the North West have come together this week to lend a helping hand to a brave little girl and her family.
Lucy Mc Geehan, aged 5, was recently diagnosed with Ewing’s Sarcoma – a rare cancerous tumour of the bone.
The Castlederg schoolgirl has close connections to Donegal, as her parents Lynne and Paul are both from the county.
Lucy’s illness came as a huge shock to the family. She was a happy, healthy and active child before the first symptoms appeared during a family holiday in July. Three weeks later, she lost the power in her legs and was rushed for a scan in Belfast.
“The doctors came for me and Paul in the middle of the MRI to tell us she had a tumour on her spine,” her mother Lynne recalls.
“It was so quick. Lucy had no signs of anything being wrong before this.
“We could see the tumour was squashing her spinal cord. Doctors could not get a definite result from where it was, so they operated.”
Lynne tells Donegal Daily: “Lucy had her back operation on the 10th of August, the day before my birthday. And on the 17th of August, the day before her daddy’s birthday, we were told she had cancer.”
The initial surgery released the pressure from Lucy’s spine and paved the way for intense treatment.
Lucy has just had her fifth chemotherapy treatment in Belfast, the tumour is shrinking and she is coming on in ‘leaps and bounds’, according to her mum.
The bright girl, who her mum says is ‘full of badness’ takes a close interest in all that is going on with her treatment and is determined to get better.
Medics are looking into proton beam therapy as the next step for Lucy. The family are planning to go to Germany for the precise radiotherapy in the New Year. A second surgery in England may also be a possibility.
“We’re assessing how to give Lucy the best quality of life after this. She is only five and has a big life ahead of her,” Lynne said.
As the treatment continues, the Mc Geehan family have received overwhelming support from their family and friends.
A fundraising head shave has been organised for November 24th in Clanree Hotel Letterkenny, while a GoFundMe page and a ‘Friends of Lucy’ Facebook group were set up to raise money to ease the financial burden on the family.
Volunteers are needed for the event, so if you know someone who needs a trim, just messages the Friends of Lucy page.
The Ballyholey Farm Shop has also joined the campaign to bring businesses together for a raffle.
All these steps have given the family great hope at a time when they cannot have visitors at home, due to Lucy’s chemo.
Lynne said: “Lucy is a wee trooper. She is getting stronger and when she’s in good form she loves taking the hand out of people, especially her big brother Tony, who’s 11.”
“We know that Lucy has hope and we are keeping positive. Everyone has been so kind to us,” she added.
For more information on the charity head shave check out the Friends of Lucy Facebook page here: www.facebook.com/LucyVsCancer
See www.gofundme.com/lucyvscancer to visit Lucy’s GoFundMe page.