A Donegal teenager who needs life-changing spine surgery has been told she can go under the knife next week.

Kacey Blackburn from Raphoe needs corrective surgery after being diagnosed with Idiopathic Scoliosis, a condition that has forced her to give up football.

Kacey requires a double row, double curve spinal surgery and, due to growth, there is a limited time window for the procedure.

The operation is only available in Turkey and now Kacey and her family will fly out on Tuesday with the procedure scheduled for Saturday-week, April 10.

Kacey Blackburn

“The family have just been advised by the surgical team given the urgency of Kacey’s needs that they would prefer to perform Kacey’s surgery earlier than initially planned,” a spokesperson for Help Kacey Be Pain Free said.

“This means it’s full steam ahead over the next week as the family prepare both physically and emotionally for Kacey’s pending surgery.”

In order to ensure that Kacey receives her surgery the family have taken a bridging loan to meet the shortfall from monies already donated.

Almost €40,000 has been raised on a GoFundMe page that has been established. You can click here to donate: https://www.gofundme.com/f/help-kacey-be-pain-free

“Words are not enough to express our gratitude to each and everyone of you who have donated, liked, shared, and sent well wishes to the family,” the spokesperson said.

“They are truly grateful and blown away by the generosity that people have shown. Again, thank you all for your continued support as Kacey starts the beginning of her medical journey.”

Last night, on a Zoom call organised by Raphoe Town FC, Republic of Ireland soccer legends Shay Given and Packie Bonner spoke some words of encouragement to Kacey.

The teenager has two curves in her spine which are said to be progressing daily.

Idiopathic Scoliosis can occur in adolescents who go through a growth spurt in early teens and the condition affects girls eight times as often as it affects boys.