€500K campaign to keep nurse Ciara ‘in our lives’
A €500,000 fundraising campaign to send a 36-year-old woman to the States for a potentially life-saving cancer clinical trial has been started by a local family.
Nurse Ciara Barry, from Tallaght University Hospital, has had three separate battles with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, twice as a teenager and once in her twenties.
In her mid-thirties, Ciara has now developed an aggressive blood cancer called High Risk Myelodysplastic Syndrome and has undergone treatment under the care of St James’s Hospital.
However, Ciara’s blood cancer has not responded to any treatment and has progressed significantly, according to her family.
Through sheer determination, Ciara, who grew up in Ballyroan and now lives in Drimnagh, started to research international medical trials.
This research has resulted in Ciara been given an opportunity to participate in a minimum six-week, clinical trial for Car T-Cell Therapy at the Moffitt Cancer Centre in Tampa, Florida.
Due to start the immunotherapy on June 1, Ciara’s husband Paddy, her dad PJ and five siblings have started a GoFundMe page in the hope of raising €500k to get their loved one to the States.
Within a week of the GoFundMe page being created on April 25, more than €230,000 had been donated.
This week, the family has thanked everyone for their response and kind words and messages for Ciara.
Speaking with The Echo, Ciara’s sister Ellen Barry said: “We are all overwhelmed in the best possible way, people have been so generous.
“We’ve had so much support from our community, our workplaces, family and the public…we’re so grateful.
“Ciara is the glue of our family, and we can’t picture our lives without her.
“This treatment in the US is the only chance we have to keep our beloved Ciara in our lives.”
In a message on the GoFundMe page, another of Ciara’s sisters, Claire Lynch, also extended thanks.
“We never imagined having to ask this of anyone, but unfortunately, we are in this situation,” Claire said.
“Ciara is an incredible person.
“She is a ray of sunshine in every room she enters, and she truly is the light of our lives.
“We are so incredibly grateful for any support you can offer, no matter how big or small.”
The family also thanked members of the public who are organising fundraisers, including Our Lady’s School in Terenure and Ballyboden St Enda’s, which is hosting a quiz on Friday, May 20.
Any money left over following medical expenses will be donated to Make a Wish Foundation, CanTeen Ireland and St James’s Hospital, three organisations that have helped Ciara over the years.
For further information or to donate visit HERE.
Follow the #KeepCiara page on Instagram for further updates on fundraisers.