t’s been a hectic two months in the Hayes household, as they set themselves one very sky-high mission.
The question being, was it maybe pie in the sky to try and raise €550,000 so 9-year-old Alice could fly to the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York?
Well, thanks to a wave of fundraising events – including a Dalkey to Greystones walk, a rockin’ gig at Lee’s in Kilcoole, and a mighty push by Ryan Tubridy – that target has now been reached.
Here’s the reaction from Alice’s parents, Dylan and Norah…
This is truly incredible. Through the exceptional generosity and overwhelming support of so many we have reached our target in less than two months. Every single donation made, every kilometre walked, run, cycled, swam, or rowed, every song sung, or step danced, every cake baked, every bucket shaken, every raffle ticket or quiz table sold has helped to achieve this phenomenal collective effort by our whole community and far beyond. We can hardly find the words to express how much all this hard work and support for Alice means to us. It will give her a fighting chance to overcome her battle with cancer over the coming months and years ahead.
A huge debt of gratitude too for all those who helped to share Alice’s story in the press and on social media, this support has been so important in raising awareness for both the fund and of this cruel childhood cancer, neuroblastoma. We continue to be proud of Alice, how brave and wonderful she is. In time she will be able to fully appreciate your generosity and support for her.
Similarly our heartfelt gratitude for the many messages of love and support from friends, family and those not previously known to us, they have continued to lift our spirits during dark times and shown how kind people can be in a time of need.
Because of your help we have reached our target which will allow us to access lifesaving drugs and enrol Alice in the next suitable clinical trial at the Memorial Sloan Kettering (MSK) Cancer Centre in New York in 2023. However, the journey for Alice and us doesn’t end now. Alice is still under going treatment at SJD in Barcelona to tackle some residual stubborn neuroblastoma disease in advance of being accepted on the trial. The treatment involves more chemotherapy, trial drugs, painful immunotherapy and daily radiation therapy. This is extremely tough on her and she cannot wait to come home for Christmas and see her much loved friends and family.
The doctors in Barcelona will be working in collaboration with Memorial Sloan Kettering in New York to evaluate her progress before she is fully enrolled on the clinical trial. In the immediate term the length and course of Alice’s treatment is a bit unclear. Although Alice’s family have funded her medical treatment in Barcelona, the ongoing costs of travel and accommodation needed to access this treatment are also huge. We are extremely grateful to a number of our kind donors, including Deloitte, who have offered to allow us to use some of their donations to help cover these necessary costs.
And the fundraising events are still running…We are so grateful to those who have events organised in the coming weeks. Although we have reached the target on GoFundMe, the total figure raised does not include fees and charges. Any additional funds raised will be of great help in covering treatment costs and expenses in Barcelona which are significant and being covered by our family.
The length of treatment in New York is likely to be longer than anticipated with follow up treatment in New York in 2024 and 2025 at least. This will incur expenses and potentially additional treatment costs. Because of this uncertainly, we will keep any additional donations in reserve for the next number of years, in case they are needed for Alice’s treatment. Any remaining funds will be donated to pediatric cancer support charities.
Although the words seem inadequate, please accept a sincere thank you, thank you all from the bottom of our hearts. Dylan and Norah.
You can still donate to help Alice’s journey over the crucial months ahead right here.
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