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Fundraising drive underway to help brave mum Alannah

Thursday, 3rd September, 2020 8:33am
Fundraising drive underway to help brave mum Alannah

Alannah Sheehan with husband Martin and their children.

Fundraising drive underway to help brave mum Alannah

Alannah Sheehan with husband Martin and their children.

A fundraising drive is underway to pay for vital medical treatment of a Nenagh mother of three young children who is seriously ill with a very rare and incurable form of brain cancer.

Nenagh's Jennifer Corcroan has set up a GoFundMe page for her "beautiful friend" Alannah Sheehan to try to secure the funds needed to help prolong her life. Alannah (32) along with her amazingly supportive husband Martin are parents to three wonderful children; Finn (5), Luca (3) and Phoebe (9 months).

Things started to go wrong last January, on the night of Phoebe's christening, when Alannah, a highly popular chef who worked in Steeples restaurant in Nenagh, had a seizure for the first time. On February 15th, Alannah had another seizure and was admitted to hospital for a routine scan where medics discovered a tumour.

Doctors gave Alannah two options: not to interfere with the tumour or undergo an operation to try to remove it.
Alannah decided to go ahead with the awake craniotomy - surgery to her head while she was awake. However, this proved unsuccessful.

Three weeks later she received the phone call with the most devastating diagnosis. Her doctor told her she had been diagnosed with a Grade 4 cancerous brain tumor, also know as Glioblastoma Multiforme.

This is a very rare incurable cancer and Alannah has been told she has only a 50% chance of surviving past two years. But Alannah is determined to live for as long as she possibly can, and this is why funds are so vital for her to get the treatment she needs.

"Alannah is a real go-getter and she does not let anything hold her back and she is not giving up to her cancer," Jennifer Corcoran told The Guardian.

"She has three small kids and she is going to do everything in her power to make sure she is here next year and the year after, and the year after that. She's just brilliant, and she has to live for her kids - that's just it," says Jennifer who has been friends with Alannah since the were both small children together in the Gaelscoil in Nenagh. They both grew up close to eachother, Alannah in Ballygraigue and Jennifer in Tyone and Alannah was Jennifer's bridesmaid at her wedding.

"Everything had been going so well for her and she and her husband Martin had just built a house in Templederry when she got the worst new possible," says Jennifer. 

Alannah gave birth to her third child, Phoebe, last November and was still out on maternity leave when her condition was diagnosed. She has been getting seizures and has obviously not returned to work. "Every minute of every day is so precious now," says Jennifer, who is thrilled with the generosity shown by people to the GoFundMe appeal.

Just one week after the launch of the appeal a sum of almost €42,000 had been donated. But more funds are needed. "We feel €150,000 is a reachable goal, but we cannot still put a price on with Alannah's ongoing treatment going forward." says Jennifer, who indicated that further fundraisers may be necessary.

Typical treatment for the cancer Alannah has is 30 radiotherapy sessions and six months of chemotherapy. Since she has been diagnosed Alannah has undergone her 30 radiation treatments and has started a second round of chemotherapy.

Alannah has suffered multiple seizures since February and can no longer be left alone. Her husband has given up work to look after her and to give more time raising their young children.

"The money donated will help Alannah fund future treatments to prolong her life. Alannah’s only wish is for more time with her beautiful family," says Jennifer.
Jennier adds: "Anyone who has been following Alannah’s story on instagram through @worth_fighting4 where she has documented her journey to date knows what an amazing, inspiring person she is.

"You will fall in love with this bubbly positive girl who needs everyone’s prayers and donations no matter how big or small."
Jennier concludes: "We just want to say thank you for any support given - it really means a lot to Alannah and her family."

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