'We've not come this far to give up on our amazing girl', says mum
The mother of Dublin teen Robyn Smyth, who has been battling cancer for almost 10 years, says the family are just €60,000 short of their goal to pay for potentially life-saving surgery in America.
Bernadette Dornan Smyth's daughter Robyn, from Whitehall in Dublin, has been fighting the aggressive cancer, neuroblastoma, since the age of three and has undergone treatment here and in the US.
Last month, Bernadette emotionally revealed she cannot do any more for her daughter without vital funding despite the teenager having two good scans in the US over the past several months.
The family are facing a €326,000 upfront bill for the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Centre in New York and Robyn will be the first Irish person to be admitted on to this trial at the New York hospital if they can raise the money.
Up until last month, fundraising had stalled and just €70,000 had been raised. The plea led to Erin McGregor, sister of UFC star Conor, starting a floss dance challenge in a bid to help save the life of Robyn, who she has been secretly helping.
The mum-of-two was a contestant on RTE's Dancing With The Stars earlier this year.
"Up to €20,000 was donated on Sunday night alone and we just can't believe it," Bernadette said.
"My desperate pleas for financial help seem to have hit a chord with the public. We are now just €63,000 short of the €326,000 needed.
"Robyn is so tired of fighting for her life. She's very fragile right now. Her blood counts are bad. She's almost 14 and is the same weight as her little sister Millie.
"If Robyn gets to New York and gets on this trial she will be able to stop chemotherapy. This will help Robyn recover. Finally this is our chance to save Robyn and we aren't giving up.
"Now we've been given the chance by the New York hospital as we've nearly raised the amount needed for her to be seen. We head out to New York in 10 days to be seen by medics there for the first time.
"Robyn urgently needs further treatment before this monster tries to take her from us again. After all the discussions with the hospital, we can say we have our first appointment on August 2.
"I am begging the public to please help us boost the fundraising. We have not come this far to give up on our amazing girl who has fought against all odds to be here with us today."