REPUBLIC of Ireland captain Seamus Coleman has donated thousands of pounds to help a two-year-old Irish boy with cancer receive vital treatment in the US.
Caolan Melaugh was diagnosed with high-risk neuroblastoma – an extremely rare cancer – at just 10 weeks old.
Caolan, from Co. Donegal, has spent the majority of his young life in and out of Our Lady’s Children Hospital in Dublin, where a great team of doctors and nurses have carried out his treatment.
The two-year-old has endured 15 gruelling months of chemotherapy, surgery, stem cell transplant, radiotherapy and six months of immunotherapy.
Yesterday Everton full back Seamus Coleman, who is also from Co. Donegal, donated €6,000 (£5,200) to help boost fundraising efforts.
Caolan’s family and friends have raised €200,000 so far to cover the costs of previous treatments after Caolan relapsed last September.
The family now need to raise a huge amount more to fund future trips to the US and family friend Gerard McConnell has set up a Go Fund Me page to allow contributions.
Seamus Coleman made his generous donation to the page with the message: “Best wishes Caolan x”.
“I was actually working away yesterday when I saw the notification coming through to my email that a Seamie Coleman donated a whopping €6,000,” Gerard told The Irish Post.
“I must admit I couldn’t believe it at first, I actually had to check again to make sure I didn’t read it wrong.
“I was astonished that he would recognise little Caolan’s plight and be so supportive of his fight for survival.”
Fundraising efforts for Caolan have taken place in Donegal, Birmingham and Edinburgh where family members of the brave toddler have fought to draw awareness to his plight.
But for Caolan to get the lifesaving treatment he deserves his fundraising appeal will have to attract a lot more attention from around the world.
Currently, just over €26,000 has been raised towards Caolan’s €50,000 goal.
“I can only imagine how utterly devastating it must be to look at your little baby over the course of the last two years and see how much pain and suffering they were going through, and pride to see how hard they are fighting to survive this illness,” Gerard added.
“Caolan is a little fighter, he needs our support and that’s exactly all I am doing, I am extending my support to him and his family.”
“People have been so generous, unbelievably so, their kindness and support touch us all.”