Community lines up 'best birthday' for brave Robyn
A CANCER-stricken girl has been promised an extra special party tomorrow as a Dublin community rallies round to celebrate her ninth birthday.
Robyn Smyth, from Whitehall, returned home yesterday after completing her second cycle of chemotherapy at Crumlin Children's Hospital.
Her parents, Bernadette Dornan and Leighton Smyth, now have an agonising 10-day wait during which scans will be conducted to determine if the cancer has been reduced.
But tomorrow they have promised to give Robyn, who suffers from neuroblastoma, a day to remember.
And it won't be a quiet affair – as her parents have organised a 'karaoke bus' to pick up their little fighter and her closest pals.
Family friends and concerned residents in Ballymun have organised an even bigger party, where hundreds of balloons will be released to raise much-needed funds to help Robyn beat the killer disease.
Bernadette needs to raise at least €350,000 to pay for a clinical trial in either New York or Michigan – treatment which isn't covered by the HSE but represents her daughter's "only hope". And the worried mother has admitted that if the results of the upcoming scans reveal increased signs of cancer, Robyn may have to go to the US for life-saving treatment immediately.
She said: "I want to make Robyn's birthday as special as possible for her. She's ok at the moment, but not great. She's a bit down as her hair has started to come out, but I've told her that if her hair goes, then so will mine.
"We have to see on Sunday how she feels, but we're getting a karaoke bus organised for her and her friends.
"People have been fantastic. There's a family fun day in Ballymun for Robyn on the same day and someone even got in contact with me to offer to bake her a cake."
Up until last month, Robyn's cancer had been in remission for four-and-a-half years. But a CT scan detected a tumour protruding through her jawbone.
Tests have also revealed suspicious spots on Robyn's face, lungs, liver and pelvis area.
But determined Bernadette has vowed to do whatever it takes to help her daughter beat the disease.
She added: "I have to remain positive and I have to believe that Robyn is going to get better and be able to enjoy many more birthdays."
To help Robyn, visit www.robynslife.com and donate via Paypal or through AIB account number 21417099, sort code - 93-23-53. Donations can also be made on idonate.ie.