A fundraising campaign has been launched to help fund accommodation and costs in Dublin for the family of a young man recently diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia.
Sixteen-year-old Niall Gallagher from Malin Head went to his GP on November 16, as he had been feeling unwell. He was tired and low in energy, which was unusual for the sporty teenager.
Niall then presented with some swelling on some of his organs and he was immediately referred to Letterkenny University Hospital.
The talented footballer spent the night in the haematology ward before being rushed to St. James’ Hospital in Dublin on Sunday, November 17. He was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukamia (ALL) and will be a patient on the Denis Burkitt ward for the foreseeable future.
As Niall is 16-years-old he is being treated as a adult and therefore, his family are not entitled to services such as Ronald McDonald House. They will be required to pay for accommodation and living expenses in Dublin, which is a mammoth expense.
Niall has commenced a three year programme for ALL. He has begun chemotherapy, steroids and other medications . He has also had to haveseveral lumbar punctures. He will remain in St. James’ for up to six months initially.
In a bid to help Niall and his family, a fundraising page on Go Fund Me has been set up to help cover what costs they may incur over the course of Niall’s treatment. To date, it has raised a phenomenal E45,000 in less than a week.
Niall’s mother Kathleen told the ‘Journal’ how the family is ‘completely overwhelmed’ by the support they have been receiving and while the diagnosis was a big shock, Niall is continuing to be his ‘strong’ and ‘positive’ self.
“We cannot believe how much money has gone into the fundraiser. We’re completely overwhelmed. It really does take all our worries away in relation to going up and down to Dublin and the cost of staying here. We’ve managed to rent accommodation close to the hospital for the next few months.”
Kathleen told it ‘wasn’t easy’ asking for help, but her friends and family were keen to give their support. She said that any money left over will be donated to charity.
Kathleen said they were unsure yet if Niall, the eldest of her three children, will get home for Christmas as they are ‘taking it day by day,’ but added that his health was the most important.
“If we don’t get home this Christmas, then we’ll have plenty more.”
Niall is ‘getting on with it,” she said and is continuing to keep his fitness levels up, ‘doing exercises every day.’
“He’s got a really positive attitude, The doctors were saying it’s amazing how strong their patients from Donegal always are.”
Alongside the Go Fund Me page, a number of fundraising events will also be taking place, including a football match organised by Carndonagh Football Club and a quiz in Farren’s Bar, Carndonagh.
The Go Fund Me page highlights all the ways people can help.’
“Niall continues to amaze us every day with his positivity and at how well he is coping through this unexpected journey in his life. He is the strongest, bravest young man that we know and with all that he is going through he still has a smile and a great sense of humour. We know that with his strength, bravery, his determination and a lot of support he will come out the other side and beat this horrible disease.
How can you help?
1. Prayers and positivity - we ask that you join us in praying for Niall’s recovery and send him strength and positivity throughout his journey.
2. Please donate - Niall and his families would be grateful for any donations big or small. For those unable to donate through the page and wish to do so they can contact a family member or friend.
3. Share the link and story with your connections on your social media platforms.
On behalf of Niall and his families, we thank you for your prayers, your help, your generosity and your support.
You can donate at this link