Race against time to raise €110,000 for US treatment

By Mary Dennehy

A TALLAGHT mother is in a race against time to raise more than €110,000 in three months, so that she can undergo life-saving treatment in America for a rare, incurable auto immune disease – and she needs the community’s support.

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 Happier times before 2010

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 difficulties swallowing due to an impaired oesophagus.

However, there is a form of stem cell transplant treatment that can use Marina’s own stem cells to reboot her system. This treatment is available in the States and it 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.

Marina’s husband Alan, who is originally from Millbrook Lawns, and is her full-time carer, told The Echo: “This treatment is Maria’s last chance and will ultimately save her life.

“If she doesn’t get this treatment, her symptoms will continue to get progressively worse and we have been told that she will probably go into respiratory failure.

“Marina is such a trooper despite her body constantly being in spasm.

“She can get around by means of a crutch but that just helps her with short trips around the house, her mobility is very limited and she spends most of her time in bed.”

He added: “We’re short of more than €110,000 for treatment and for Marina to have any chance we need to raise this money within the next three months.

“This money is just for the treatment and doesn’t include follow-up treatments, accommodation or flights.

“The more damage that Marina’s organs undergo, her chances of getting accepted for treatment declines.

“This is her last chance, we have to go now, so alongside our friends and family we are organising a number of fundraising events in the coming weeks and are asking people in the community to come on board and support us in any way that they can – it’s our last shot.”

On Friday, March 11, a night of music with Bee Bop Gold is taking to the stage of the Transport Club in Crumlin for Marina while on April 22, an 80s night will take place in St Anne’s GAA Club, Bohernabreena.

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 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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