By Elizabeth Lee
The family of a father of three who has an incurable cancer has thanked the public for their generosity after a funding campaign raised over €54,000 so that he could access alternative treatments.
Forty-six-year old Edward O’Brien was diagnosed in August 2018 with Ampullary adenocarcinoma, an incurable rare form of cancer that forms in the digestive system.
Originally from Rathvilly and now living in Baltinglass, Edward is married to Mandy, née English, and the couple have three children – 11 year old Jack, Lexie who’s nine and Ruby, (7).
Mandy describes her husband as a man who is “private, laid back, loving, generous and can-turn-his hand-to-anything kind of person.”
She started a fundraising campaign on GoFundMe called ***Help with Edward’s healing*** to help finance alternative treatments for him. He’d been through chemotherapy in 2018 and 2019 since he was diagnosed but the side effects became too much for him to bear.
He changed his diet and used alternative treatments and was doing well until last year when he started to feel pain and discomfort again. Follow-up tests showed his tumour markers were extremely high and he had no choice but to return to hospital for more chemotherapy. He recently came home after five weeks in hospital and isn’t able for any more conventional treatment.
Edward and Many began to look for alternatives in the hope that they would improve his overall physical condition and possibly even shrink the tumour to make it operable. The money from the fundraising campaign is to help with those costs and incredibly, over €54,000 was raised in just over a week.
“We’d like to say a sincere thank you to everyone who donated to the fund. It’s just incredible how generous people are,” Mandy told ***The Nationalist***.
They had hoped that Edward could attend a clinic in Tijuana, Mexico, that offers holistic and alternative therapies, but realistically, the long haul, coupled with the ever-present threat of Covid ruled that out.
The O’Briens looked at alternative treatment centres based in Europe and last week, Edward was offered a place in a clinic, Immucura Med in Spain. He’ll now go through an immunotherapy treatment known as Dendritic Cell Therapy (DCT) and immune memory Transmitter (IMT). This therapy focuses on the cell health and is also designed to boost the immune system to help fight the cancer. The clinic have a team based in Ireland and are able to offer the treatment at home. The treatment plan also offers individually prescribed supplements and follow up support and monitoring of Edwards condition.
“This is a much better option for us because, realistically, Edward can’t travel. This way, he’ll be at home with us, so this is much better,” Mandy concluded.
If you’d like to donate go to the GoFundMe page at