A CAMPAIGN to raise money for the cancer treatment of a former All-Ireland-winning Cork footballer is on target to reach its €250,000 goal.
Kieran O’Connor, a member of the panel when Cork beat Down to the All-Ireland title in 2010, is battling Ewing’s Sarcoma, a form of cancer.
The former Aghada GAA left-wing back had his lower leg amputated in January, due to persistent pain. He has been told by doctors that his cancer has spread.
The 39-year-old was diagnosed with the rare form of bone cancer in October 2017, while awaiting the birth of his third child.
Aggressive chemotherapy was followed by an operation that shaved 110mm off a tumour.
The operation went well, but intensive chemotherapy resumed after a month and went on until the end of July 2018. By November 2018, Kieran, who had been out of work since October 2017, was feeling well. All the results were positive and he was planning to go back to work in December 2018.
However, his health has deteriorated since and friends of the three-time Munster Championship winner have decided to raise the funds for his medical expenses and to support his wife, Sinead, and their three children.
€200,000 had been raised by last night and donations continued to flow in.
A statement on the GoFundMe page reads: “Over the last few months, Kieran was suffering from persistent pains in his leg and the wound was not healing fully. In January 2019, he had to endure another serious operation and his lower leg was amputated.
“While trying to recover from the amputation, he started experiencing bad back pains, and, last week, we were all devastated to find out that his cancer had spread. Kieran is a fighter: he is back on chemo treatment this week, battling Ewing’s Sarcoma for the third time in 18 months.
“We, his friends, have decided to set up this GoFundMe page for Kieran and Sinead, Isabelle (aged 7), Ava (aged 5), and James (aged 1). Funds are needed to help Kieran with all aspects of further treatment and care, as well as potential prosthetic costs, following his lower-leg amputation, and to help support Sinead and their three young children. We want Kieran to concentrate on beating cancer and getting back to good health.”
On March 18, a 5km walk, from Aghada GAA Club along the Rostellan People’s Path, will raise further funds. O’Connor started the 2007 and 2009 All-Ireland finals for Cork and was a mainstay for Aghada for many years. Donations can be made at https://www.gofundme.com/friends-of-kieran