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'Cancer won't stop my fight to ban scrambler bikes from our streets'

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Anzhela in hospital with her husband

Anzhela in hospital with her husband

Anzhela in hospital with her husband

A woman whose husband received life-changing injuries after a scrambler bike ran over his skull, is still fighting for a change in the law despite just being diagnosed with breast cancer.

Anzhela Kotsinian is appealing to speak with Justice Minister Helen McEntee as she continues her bid to change the law on scrambler bikes while awaiting a mastectomy procedure.

Last year, then Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said there would be no change to legislation after a cross-agency report recommended "targeted measures".

But last week an 18-month-old boy was seriously injured in Cherry Orchard Park, Ballyfermot, when a scrambler ran into a quad bike.

The incident has angered Anzhela (46) who has raised the issue of the bikes repeatedly since her husband, Ilabek Avetian (41), was brain-damaged and lost an eye in June 2018.

The couple had been sunbathing in Darndale Park in north Dublin when a scrambler hit them, causing Ilabek devastating injuries and also hurting former teacher Anzhela.

"My heart goes out to the little child injured," Anzhela said.

"The Government failed to act to introduce a law to get scrambler bikes off our roads when Ilabek and I were hurt. Now a little child has been seriously hurt.

"How can this be allowed to keep happening and still nothing is done to protect people?

"My life and my husband's life was destroyed that day."

After more than two years spending every day visiting her husband in different hospitals and now a Dublin nursing home, Anzhela has been dealt another blow with the diagnosis of breast cancer.

But she is appealing once again to discuss scrambler bikes with the justice minister, after numerous attempts to raise the issue with the previous government failed.

"I want to speak with Minister McEntee to tell her our story," Anzhela said.

"I want to show her one day from our life, I want to tell her how emotional I am, that at 46, I have no husband, I don't have the child I'd dreamed of having.

"Ilabek and I no longer have our health.

"I worry for how long I will live, and I worry who will look after my husband if I die."

Anzhela, originally from Armenia, had moved to Ireland with her husband just before that tragic day.

In the last year Anzhela said she had "felt something was wrong".

From April to June, she received treatment for a breast cyst but by the end of June, she felt "something big and hard in the left breast".

Mastectomy

Anzhela attended her GP in July and was sent for an examination at Beaumont Hospital in August. A doctor informed her she has breast cancer and a mastectomy was advised.

"It was a big shock and stress," she said. "I was afraid I would die alone in Dublin. I decided to go to Russia, where my family is living."

Anzhela said it was very difficult leaving Ilabek behind in a nursing home but she knew she would need family support.

"I told my family. It was very horrible," she said. "They supported me. Now I feel better than I did in Ireland alone.

"But I worry about Ilabek being there alone, without me. He was very sad when I left.

"The doctors are saying that I will live...But I still worry about the future and Ilabek. But at this moment, I have no choice but to try to get better."