Cork teenager heading to US for potentially life-saving surgery

Cork teenager heading to US for potentially life-saving surgery

Billy-Jean and RDC launching the song ‘One In A Million’ by Aaron McMahon, third left, in Midleton CBS. Picture: David Keane

A CORK teenager travelling to the US next month for potentially life-saving surgery said he is optimistic ahead of the trip.

Midleton native Aaron McMahon (17) was told earlier this year that his condition, a cancerous brain tumour known as chordoma, was terminal.

Chordoma is a rare type of cancer that occurs in the bones of the skull base and spine.

Aaron McMahon from Shanagarry, at the launch of his song 'One In A Million' with his teacher Maura Smyth and school principal Maurice Keohane, at Midleton CBS. Picture: David Keane.
Aaron McMahon from Shanagarry, at the launch of his song 'One In A Million' with his teacher Maura Smyth and school principal Maurice Keohane, at Midleton CBS. Picture: David Keane.

Having exhausted every avenue, and following treatment in Germany and Ireland, his father contacted chordoma experts in the US, who agreed to take Aaron’s case.

Following a Go Fund Me page which went viral, more than €140,000 was raised to fund Aaron’s trip to the US to undergo the procedure.

Locals Eileen, Saoirse and Lonan Kearney, enjoying the launch of the song 'One In A Million' by Aaron McMahon from Shanagarry, at Midleton CBS. 
Locals Eileen, Saoirse and Lonan Kearney, enjoying the launch of the song 'One In A Million' by Aaron McMahon from Shanagarry, at Midleton CBS. 

He will travel to the US on June 9, before consulting with doctors over there on June 11 and 12, with surgery expected to take place at the end of July.

“I’m looking forward to getting over there,” he said.

“I’m optimistic about it.

“I wasn’t expecting the level of support that I’ve gotten, it’s been amazing,” he added.

Deborah Desmond and Niamh and Maria Collins, all from Midleton, are all smiles at the launch of the song 'One In A Million' by Aaron McMahon from Shanagarry, at Midleton CBS. Picture: David Keane.
Deborah Desmond and Niamh and Maria Collins, all from Midleton, are all smiles at the launch of the song 'One In A Million' by Aaron McMahon from Shanagarry, at Midleton CBS. Picture: David Keane.

Aaron began writing a song when he found out that his cancer had returned and was terminal.

“It’s called ‘One in a Million’, it’s about my own journey and a bit about the Chordoma Foundation,” he said.

“It’s just about everything that’s happened to me throughout this journey,” he added.

Hundreds of people turned out at CBS Secondary School in Midleton yesterday to see Aaron’s song brought to life.

Angie Benhaffaf from Carrigtwohill, with her children Iman, Hussein, Hassan and Malika, supporting the launch of the song 'One In A Million' by Aaron McMahon from Shanagarry, at Midleton CBS. Picture: David Keane.
Angie Benhaffaf from Carrigtwohill, with her children Iman, Hussein, Hassan and Malika, supporting the launch of the song 'One In A Million' by Aaron McMahon from Shanagarry, at Midleton CBS. Picture: David Keane.

The school’s music teacher, James Walsh, performed the song with his band Goldfish Syndrome, in front of Aaron, his family, friends, teachers and the wider Midleton community.

Aaron said that when the operation is over, he will get back into sport and focus on his Leaving Certificate.

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