Aghada and Beyond Line Out in Support of Kieran O’Connor

by CLAIRE O’DONOGHUE

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As of going to print a GoFundMe campaign or Aghada local, Kieran O’Connor, has raised a staggering €258,685, over €100,000 of which was donated in just 24 hours.

Kieran (39), a former Cork Senior County footballer, lives in Aghada with his wife Sinéad and their 3 children, Isabelle, Ava and James. Today, he finds himself fighting a cancer found very rarely in children and almost never in adults. Ewing’s Sarcoma is a cancer that grows in the bones or in the soft tissue structures around the bones. This is the third time in 18 months that Kieran and his family are facing this battle. His first two encounters resulted in him getting his right leg amputated below the knee, but recurrent back pain and a post-surgical checkup has revealed that the sarcoma has spread.

The GoFundMe page set up by Friends of Kieran was to raise much needed funds for his medical expenses (which may necessitate travelling abroad for treatment) as well as helping to support his young family. Kieran has faced months of aggressive chemotherapy, surgery on his ankle and amputation, not to mention pain, stress and disappointment. The amount raised in such a short amount of time is testament to opinion of  his character and fortitude.

Speaking with The East Cork Journal, Chairman of Aghada GAA Club, Jimmy O’Leary said, “There is a strength in the pride that comes seeing any friend stand at their tallest and face a feared enemy with a glare in their eyes. Kieran has always been a fighter. With the full support of Club, Parish, Community and County, Kieran and his family will fight this all the way.”

On Monday, 18 March at 2pm, there will be a Friends of Kieran 5K walk from Aghada GAA Club along the Rostellan People’s Path with refreshments served afterwards back at the club. All are encouraged to come along and support. GAA clubs around East Cork have also pledged to help with the fundraising efforts to support Kieran and his young family. Youghal GAA have pledged to donate to the fund, the proceeds raised from the sale of souvenir programmes at their upcoming Cork v Waterford Rivalries match on 5 May.

There is a tough road ahead but there was never any doubt in Kieran’s fighting spirit, or the generosity and comradeship of the GAA and the people of East Cork.

To donate to the Friends of Kieran campaign please go to
www.gofundme.com/friends-of-kieran or donate directly to :
Kieran O’Connor Fund
IBAN IE69AIBK93412713956683
BIC AIBKIE2D
SORT CODE 934127
ACCOUNT NUMBER 13956683

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