The parents of 18 year old Aaron McMahon, who underwent lifesaving surgery in the US, have thanked the public for helping to save their son.
Paul McMahon said he was “deeply humbled” by the huge outpouring of help and support from the community who aided his son Aaron’s lifesaving surgery in Pennsylvania. “When we were presented with this last April we were on our own, terrified, with a son who was afraid to go to sleep at night for fear he wouldn’t wake up in the morning. We are blessed by the community we live in, those who gave thousands of €5 donations to help fund the €80,000 deposit to book the operation. Aaron just wants to go back to school and finish his Leaving Cert and go onto 3rd level.”
In March 2017, the young Shanagarry man was diagnosed with Chordoma following surgery which partially removed a brain tumour. Chordomas are a rare form of cancer tumour that occur in the bones of the skull base and spine, and are part of a group of malignant bone and soft tissue tumours called Sarcomas. In May 2017 he underwent proton radiation treatment in Essen Germany to shrink the tumour but unfortunately, month’s later Aaron’s health began to deteriorate with doctors giving him just months to live. Chordomas account for just 3 per cent of all bone tumours and 20 percent are primary spinal tumours.
The people of Cork rallied around the family to raise €140,000 for the ground breaking surgery in the United States, when the HSE were unable to support Aaron.
Dr Paul Gardner and his team at the University Hospital of Pittsburgh said the entire tumour has been removed, but Aaron will need regular monitoring to ensure it doesn’t return.
Paul says the support which the family also received from the Gavin Glyn Foundation who booked flights and accommodation, and the Chordoma Foundation based in North America, was overwhelming.