A FUNDRAISING appeal to help a Cork teenager raise €100,000 for life-saving treatment in the United States has smashed its target in just a few days.
Midleton native Aaron McMahon needs urgent surgery on a brain tumour with treatment available in the US. He has received treatment in Ireland and Germany for the condition, a cancerous tumour known as Chordoma, a rare type of cancer that occurs in the bones of the skull base and spine.
He needs specialist treatment in the US, with his family seeking to raise €100,000 to fund the treatment.
His appeal went viral, breaking the €100,000 mark last night with the figure still climbing today.
It saw dozens of people offering their support online, including Ballymaloe chef Rachel Allen, the winners of Ireland’s Got Talent RDC Dance School and Ireland soccer star David Meyler.
The 17-year-old has been told by doctors that he could die at any time.
Speaking on the Neil Prendeville Show, Aaron said: “We’ve been told that I could be gone one day.”
He said he has difficulty sleeping at night for fear of not waking up again.
Despite this, Aaron is trying to remain positive.
“It’s not hard to stay positive because if I feel sorry for myself, I’ll be upset all the time, so I just try to keep smiling and laughing,” he said.
He said he always feels run down and tired but he added that he is not giving up.
“The amount of support I’ve got from them, all of the GAA lads, soccer lads, and rugby lads, they’re always messaging me.”
Aaron said that when the operation is over, he will be back to sport and focusing on his leaving certificate.
“There are now experts in this field and there are treatments out there that are being tested and tried,” said Aaron’s father, Paul.
“There is nobody in Ireland, the UK or even Europe who can do this, will even touch it.
“There is absolutely no other option but this doctor in Pittsburgh who is a Chordoma skull-based surgeon of excellence,” he added.
“He has said to me: ‘We have a window to do this, it’s short but if we can get Aaron over here and get the meds right prior to surgery, I’m confident I can get this entirely.’
“Aaron is getting sicker by the hour.”
To donate, visit https://www.gofundme.com/aaronmcmahon.