Soccer hero Coleman donates €6,000 to sick Caolan's cancer appeal
A two-year-old boy who is battling cancer has been given renewed hope after soccer star Seamus Coleman donated €6,000 to his appeal fund.
Caolan Melaugh was just 10 weeks old when he was diagnosed with stage-four cancer - a high-risk neuroblastoma.
Cherished and loved by his mum and dad, Gerard (33) and Stacey (28), Caolan has bravely fought his condition.
Caolan, from Killygordon, Co Donegal, has endured a very tough 15 months, which included chemotherapy, surgery, stem cell transplant, radiotherapy and six months of immunotherapy.
Caolan's family is facing a bill of more than €200,000 for treatment in the US.
Yesterday's donation by the Everton and Ireland captain has left fundraiser Ger McConnell almost speechless.
Gerard set up a Go Fund Me page for Caolan just a month ago and has so far raised more than €23,000 towards his medical bills.
"I nearly fell off my stool when I saw a donation of €6,000 coming in from Seamus Coleman," he said.
"That is just such a wonderful thing for him to do, to think he took the time to read Caolan's plight and to be so generous. That will help enormously, we are all so thrilled.
"We'd like to thank Seamus and everyone else who donated so far from the bottom of our hearts."
Gerard is a corporal in the Irish Defence Force and Stacey, who previously worked in retail, has not been working since Caolan was diagnosed.
Caolan has been cared for at Our Lady's Children's Hospital, Dublin.
"We had initially fundraised to get Caolan onto a preventative trial in Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA. He started this trial on July 1, less than a month later," Stacey said. "On a routine trip there in September 2016, Caolan took a seizure and, after further tests, it showed he had relapsed, the cancer was now affecting his brain."
This led to two life-saving brain surgeries there.
"It broke my heart getting this news. I was at home ready to give birth to our second son, who has thankfully entered the world safely, and is now five months old.
"As a mother it breaks my heart to see my baby sick, to see him so much in need and to know that sometimes I cannot help."
Caolan spent two weeks in the US, with most of that time in intensive care. The outstanding bill is more than €200,000.
If you would like to support Caolan, log on to: gofundme.com/Little-Caolan-Treatment-Fund.