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'A great little fighter' - brave Robyn loses cancer battle

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Robyn Smyth was treated in Dublin and in the US for an aggressive form of cancer after a major fundraising campaign

Robyn Smyth was treated in Dublin and in the US for an aggressive form of cancer after a major fundraising campaign

Robyn Smyth was treated in Dublin and in the US for an aggressive form of cancer after a major fundraising campaign

A teenage girl who captured the hearts of the nation for the past 12 years as she bravely battled a rare cancer has lost her fight for life.

Robyn Smyth (15) from Whitehall, north Dublin, had been fighting the aggressive cancer, neuroblastoma, since the age of three.

Since the nightmare began Robyn had flown back and forth to the US for treatment close to 100 times.

Robyn's mother Bernadette Dornan was by her little girl's side throughout her battle, since first being told by doctors of the horrendous diagnosis on September 10, 2007.

Transfusions

Robyn, a third-year secondary school student in Whitehall, passed away at 8am yesterday surrounded by her family.

The teenager had been receiving ongoing blood and platelet transfusions at Crumlin Children's Hospital over the past several weeks but her condition started to worsen.

Colm Dornan, Robyn's grandfather, said: "Robyn fought so bravely for so long. Unfortunately, over the past couple of weeks her health started to deteriorate and she became very weak, so weak she could not travel to the US for treatment and also because of the Covid-19 travel restrictions.

"The entire family is devastated, even the doctors and nurses are so upset over her passing, they were great to her. She was a great little fighter.

"Robyn captured the hearts of the nation. At times she has been gravely ill but has managed to battle back, that just didn't happen this time."

Speaking on her 13th birthday, her mother Bernadette said: "Most people probably thought she wouldn't have made it this far but I always believed she would.

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Robyn with her mum Bernadette Dornan and sister Millie

Robyn with her mum Bernadette Dornan and sister Millie

Robyn with her mum Bernadette Dornan and sister Millie

"We do our best to make sure she gets the best treatment but the reason Robyn is still here is because she has the will to survive."

When Robyn first became ill, she was treated in several Dublin hospitals and at medical facilities in the US, thanks largely to her relatives, friends and public donations which raised more than €1m.

Erin McGregor, sister of UFC fighter Conor, also got involved in charity events to raise awareness of Robyn's cancer fight.

The Dublin girl's chances of survival dropped to 5pc four years ago and her parents were told by Irish doctors to bring her home to die, but they decided to fundraise to take her to the US for the first time.

Kindness

It had been hoped that Robyn would travel to Germany for further ground-breaking treatment later this year.

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Robyn Smyth fought her cancer battle for 12 years

Robyn Smyth fought her cancer battle for 12 years

Robyn Smyth fought her cancer battle for 12 years

Robyn is survived by her mum Bernadette and dad Leighton, sister Martina, grandad Colm, grandmothers, Madeline and Kathleen, aunts, Cath Cathy, Caroline and Laura, cousins Faith, Teaghan, Kayla, Ava and Cole also her aunts Janet and Lorraine.

Funeral arrangements will follow the strict burial restrictions of no more than 10 people in attendance.

The family thanked, "all of Robyn's Life followers for their kindness, help and support".

A memorial for Robyn will take place at a later date. The family requested that instead of floral wreaths, donations if desired should be made to Robyn's Life Trust.