herald

Monday 23 April 2018

Heartbreak for Louise as brave pal Daniel loses his long battle for life

Louise Johnston has spoken of her heartbreak after brave cancer patient Daniel Maher lost his battle for life on Monday evening, just hours after she had completed the Flora Women's Mini-Marathon in his honour.

The Fade Street star told the Herald of her devastation after being informed that Ballyfermot native Daniel -- who suffered from 41 tumours -- had passed away surrounded by his family members earlier that day.

Louise (23) helped to raise hundreds of euro this week for the 20-year-old, who was due to undergo a life saving operation in Germany.

"It's just devastating," she said. "I'm heartbroken. He was so young.

"It's an extremely hard time for his family and my thoughts are with them.

"I find it so disheartening that such a young person had to go through all that suffering and lose the fight.

"I think he was so brave. He's had such a long battle and went through so much. I suppose I'm just happy that now he's finally at peace.

Louise, who decided to run the mini marathon on his behalf after being approached by Daniel's family to help raise awareness of the cause, is expected to attend his funeral this week to offer her sympathies to his family members.

Daniel was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer, synovial sarcoma in August 2009.

He underwent chemotherapy in a bid to fight the disease and had to have his arm amputated due to a tumour.

In a bid to save his life, his family flew him to a German hospital last February, where he underwent specialised laser treatment on his lung to remove the cancer.

Daniel had 41 tumours removed from the middle and top of one lung, as well as having the bottom of both lungs removed.

A second operation four weeks later had to be postponed due to his ill health, and Daniel instead returned to his hometown to continue his battle.

Friends and family members, in particular his father, David, and his mother, Vivienne, have worked tirelessly in recent months to raise awareness of the cause.

Fundraising events including a five-a-side soccer tournament, a car boot sale and a night out in Spin Roller Disco all helped to generate funds to pay for his treatment in Germany.

lnolan@herald.ie

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