IN December 2013, a 43-year old Connor McBarron “received devastating news” that he was suffering from a rare form of bone cancer, which was not responsive to chemotherapy or radiotherapy.
At the time of his diagnosis, Connor was working as a Technology & Design teacher in St Michael’s College, and he recalls the impact that the illness had on both his personal and professional life.
“The only option was to undergo extensive surgery which required the removal of three ribs and a chest reconstruction.
“This was, and has been, a life changing experience for myself, my wife and family of four children who at the time were aged five, eight, 10 and 12 years old.”
While Connor had to undergo a long period of rehabilitation and recovery following his surgery, himself and his family “made very special and dear” friends at The Cancer Fund for Children’s Daisy Lodge and Narnia in Newcastle, County Down, which provides a resbite centre for families of people who are suffering from a serious illness.
Connor feels that this charity made a big impact in helping his family cope with the extent of his illness.
“Many organisations, in particular Cancer Fund for Children Ireland, have been there supporting and helping us along this journey through respite at Daisy Lodge in County Down and their many support programmes for children.
“These have enabled our children to deal with the reality of their father having to manage and live with the new physical wreckage left from having had sarcoma cancer.”
Three years on from his surgery, Connor still requires “constant medication and pain treatment” on a daily basis.
Former Ireland Rugby captain Rory Best is embarking on a 180-mile walk from Daisy Lodge in Down to Cong in County Mayo, where The Cancer Fund for Children Ireland are hoping to build a short-break rehab centre.
On his walk to Mayo, Best will be passing through Enniskillen where he will be calling in to lend his support to a charity rugby match between St. Michael’s College and Enniskillen Royal Grammar School this Saturday, which has been organised by Connor. At the time of going to press, Connor and his family have raised a staggering £2,257 for the ‘Rory’s Miles to Mayo’ charity, and he feels that this money will have a big impact on this charity.
If you would like to donate to this fundraiser for the Cancer Fund for Children Ireland, you can do so by visiting “Rory’s Miles to Mayo’ GoFundMe Page.
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