Saturday 16 December 2017

Brave Robyn (10) to learn progress of her US cancer treatment


Bernadette Dornan, from Whitehall in north Dublin, with her daughters Robyn Smyth (10) and Millie Smyth (3).
Bernadette Dornan, from Whitehall in north Dublin, with her daughters Robyn Smyth (10) and Millie Smyth (3).

The anxious family of Dublin girl Robyn Smyth, who is being treated for an aggressive cancer she has been fighting for seven years, will learn this week how her treatment is going.

The ten-year-old Whitehall girl has been flown to the US, with her parents, Bernadette and Leighton, for specialist treatment thanks to a massive fundraising drive to help cover the estimated €300,000 cost of the treatment.

Brave Robyn suffers from neuroblastoma and has just a 5pc chance of survival.


Although she beat the cancer in early 2009, she relapsed less than two years ago when a tumour broke through her jaw bone and the cancer quickly spread to her spine, legs and pelvis.

Since then, Robyn has undergone chemotherapy and radiation treatment, as well as immunotherapy at Crumlin Children's Hospital.

"All hopes are now with the doctors in the Michigan hospital where she is," Robyn's grandad Colm Dornan told the Herald.

"We will be told this week what the update is and what plan they have for her," he explained. "Even if the treatment buys Robyn time it will be a good thing, because cures and advances in medicine are found all the time."

One man who was touched by Robyn's plight is Denis Mulhall, from Ballybough.

Denis and his friends were sitting in their local, Molly's Blind Ref Bar, when they read a newspaper report describing how little Robyn crawled under her bed and wrote a letter to God when she found out her cancer was back.

"Dear God, why are you doing this to me?" she scribbled. It struck a cord with the Ballybough man.

"When we read that our hearts were broken for her," said Denis.

He and his friends from the pub took themselves to the streets shaking buckets to begin with.

"We went into town three times and raised €5,000 each time. People were great," Denis explained.

He and his pals have now recruited dozens of locals to do a charity walk and cycle to the Bull Wall and back on Saturday to raise more money.

Anyone who would like to donate should go to www.idonate.ie/1011_robyn--s-life.html. Also, see Robyns Life on Facebook.

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