Race against time for Marina’s treatment

By Mary Dennehy

THE husband of a Tallaght mother who is trying to raise €110,000 for life-saving treatment in America has re-issued his heartfelt appeal for support, as the family continues on a race against time to reach their fundraising goal.

Growing up in Old Bawn, Marina Jordan Killoran (45) was diagnosed in 2010 with systemic scleroderma, a chronic, progressive and incurable auto-immune disease which results in scar tissue building up on the lungs, heart, kidneys and liver.

Marina Jordan Killoran 

Due to her illness, which sees an over-production of the protein collagen thicken the connective tissue of the body, Marina suffers from extreme joint pain, chronic fatigue, a persistent cough and limited mobility that sees the mam-of-two spend most of her time in bed.

Marina, who now lives in Kildare with her husband Alan and daughters Shannon and Erin, has a lung function of just 40 per cent and experiences difficulty in swallowing due to an impaired oesophagus.

However, there is a form of stem cell transplant treatment, which uses Marina’s own stem cells to reboot her system, available in the States. This could improve some of the damage done to her organs.

Marina has been accepted for treatment by the Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago, but the family has to raise more than €110,000 to get her there as soon as possible.

This week, the family is short €60,000 for the treatment, a figure which doesn’t include flights, accommodation or follow-up treatments.

Marina’s husband Alan, who, originally from Millbrook Lawns, is her full-time carer, said: “I’m trying to stay positive for Marina and I’ve promised her that we will raise the money needed and get her there.

“I’ve been busy sending letters and getting in touch with everybody and anybody and I have to say people have been very kind, thoughtful and generous. So many people have donated or organised fundraisers and we are so grateful for everything.”

He added: “We have such a mountain to climb in terms of fundraising and we are just praying that we get the money up somehow.

“As Marina’s condition is progressive, and is getting worse and worse, we are under the added pressure of time, which is why I am appealing to anybody who can support us in any way to get in touch.

“There are so many families in a similar situation, some with sick children, trying to raise money.

“It’s a horrible situation for any family to find themselves in, but the support and well wishes from the community is helping us through.”

The community is invited to step back in time and enjoy an ’80s fundraising night for Marina in St Anne’s GAA Club on Friday, April 22 at 8pm – tickets cost only €15.

A sponsored swim in the Forty Foot at Sandycove will also take place on April 30, while on May 6 in the Cube Nightclub at Madison’s, Tallaght, eight-piece band Funk Family will take to the stage.

To follow Marina’s story and for more on fundraising events visit the Stem Cell Transplant for Marina Jordan Killoran Facebook page.

Donations can also be made through ifundraise.ie (SCT for Marina) or contact Alan directly on 086 7369151 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


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