April 2021

anna b

Like so many stories mentioned here our journey began with small insignificant signs, the type of thing you would normally remind your 4 year old daughter that “You’ll be grand before you get married”. Occasional vomiting here, a pain in the head there, nothing to worry about, or so we thought. After a few weeks of this and little sign of improvement we were booked in for some scans. I casually advised work on that Friday evening before, “I’ll be late in on Monday, bringing Anna in to have some scans done” not knowing that our whole world was about to be shattered. The weekend progressed and it did become apparent that Anna just wasn’t herself, maybe she was Celiac or lactose intolerant, nothing a change of diet wont sort, but nothing could have prepared us for the events of Monday afternoon. After numerous scans an MRI picked up a plum size growth in the back of Annas head. Needless to say, Our whole world fell apart, We were put in an ambulance and shipped to Temple Street immediately, from there our news didn’t get any better, we were advised in most cases this lump would turn out to be malignant, the following day (April 13th, ironically Daddy’s birthday) it was confirmed to be a stage 4 Medulloblastoma. As we struggled to process all this info, trying to keep it together for her 2 Brothers(James,8 Darragh,1) and Sister (Amelia,10), as well as Anna herself, allowing ourselves to only fall apart when out of ear shot of the world,  we tumbled through the next few weeks and months knowing that life would never be the same, learning that it would be one day at a time for a while. Reminding ourselves with every milestone that Anna accomplished that we were lucky, and “we got this !”. After 6 months of gruelling chemo and stem cell reinfusion, with infection after infection and a blocked shunt thrown in for good measure In Oct 2021 our baby girl completed her treatment in Crumlin and got to ring that famous Bell, which for anyone in our world is a huge accomplishment and the staff and doctors made it a hugely memorabile day.

Nov 2021 We’re not done yet, We are currently undergoing proton therapy in Essen, Germany for what we hope is the final chapter in this nightmare. During our journey we have come across some absolutely amazing people, complete strangers who for no other reason than an attempt to make a sick little girl happy, have gone to extraordinary lengths just to buy her an ice cream. To all our friends and family, the Doctors and Nurses, all the Mums and Dad, all the Children who brought smiles to our faces in what is/was some of the saddest moments in our lives. Barely a day goes by still when we aren’t moved to tears by the generosity and support from everyone. We simply couldn’t close this off without a special mention of someone who, ironically, we have never met, but never the less someone who has turned out to be our very own personal Superhero, John Glynn from the Gavin Glynn foundation, Your ability to handle all the logistics and no problem attitude towards moving a family to Germany over Xmas has been huge for us. Gavin Glynn, where ever you are little man, You should be so proud, What a legacy to leave behind, Through your Dad and Mum You’ve touched the lives of so many people and made all our tragedy’s that little bit easier. John, Jayne and everyone else involved in the foundation ,the work you do is incredible. We thank you all most sincerely from the bottom of our hearts, We simply couldn’t have done this without you. Keane Family (Nov 2021).

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