Mother of 9 Year Old Cancer survivor To Hold Fundraiser in Cobh

by Seamus Whelehan


The mother of a 9 year old cancer survivor, is planning to bring the fight to Cobh, in an effort to fundraise for a foundation who made a huge difference to her family.
In May 2011, for a 22 year old, Jess Burke Walsh, it was like her entire world collapsed, when she was told her 20 month old daughter Lilly had leukaemia.
Leukaemia is a cancer of the blood cells, caused by the rise in the number of white blood cells. It weakens the immune system and is the most common cancer in children.
The young Cobh girl had been ill for just a few days before the diagnosis, but nothing suggested a life threatening disease.
“There were no typical signs. There was no bruising, no bleeding, nothing that would be a typical sign of leukaemia, just one weekend she was very tired” Jess tells the East Cork Journal.
The GP had sent young Lily to CUH for blood work and straight away she had to have two blood transfusions.
The next morning the family were sent to Crumlin Children’s Hospital. The following morning Lily had a central venous catheter fitted for administration of chemotherapy.
Within days of her diagnosis Lily’s treatment began and would last for 3 years.
Through the children’s Leukaemia Association a foundation that looks to empower and support families who have a child with leukaemia, Jess received a very welcome cheque.
“When Lily was first diagnosed, by the time we got home from Crumlin [the Children’s Leukaemia Association] had sent us a cheque for €1,000 so we didn’t have any financial worries while we had enough to worry about.”
“Everything went with Lily’s temperature. Once the temperature was a certain level it was up to the hospital. You could be in there for a week, it meant she had an infection.”
“It was just my life and that was it. My job was gone and I couldn’t go back to work.”
The organisation who receive no state funding, not only assist families financially they also help families rebuild their lives after a Cancer diagnosis.
Through annual fun days and festive events such as Christmas and Easter parties, the children’s Leukaemia Association create a support network for families going through different stages of the disease.
Jess’s fundraising table quiz will be held in the Commodore Hotel Cobh on Friday 2 March at 7:45pm to help repay the gratitude of the Children’s Leukaemia Association.