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14 Aug 2022

Derry trio to skydive to raise funds for 15 year old boy battling rare cancer

"Rocco is an inspiration to us all and is taking his diagnosis and everything that comes along with it in his stride"

Derry trio to skydive to raise funds for 15 year old boy battling rare cancer

The trio hope to skydive this Sunday (July 24) with Skydive Ireland in Garvagh

This weekend, Ronan, Clodagh and Leonie at Derry's Atelier Hair Company, are set to skydive as they raise funds for a very special cause.

Donegal teenager, Rocco McGinley, has been battling a rare and aggressive brain tumour since his diagnosis in October 2021. He is just 15 years old.

In late summer 2021, Rocco began to present with symptoms such as blurred vision, unsteady gait and loss of power.

His GP recommended an MRI which confirmed his parents worst fears. Rocco was diagnosed in October with an extremely rare life threatening brain tumour one of which is particularly difficult to treat.

Rocco's family said: "He's like any other teenage boy. He loves his family, his friends, music and his PS. He's the most funny, loving, gentle and kindest soul and would brighten any room when he enters.

Rocco has been receiving treatment in Texas that is unavailable in Ireland

"Since his diagnosis, there have been lots of tears shed, prayers said and many many hours of research carried out.
 
"The Irish health care system has its limitations due to our country size and population unfortunately. 

"To date, Rocco has had fantastic care and support from the staff in LUH, Crumlin Children's Hospital, Temple Street and St Luke's Hospital. 

"He has received radium, he has been biopsied and has had a shunt inserted all of which have helped to alleviate symptoms and will temporarily regress the tumours growth. 

"Rocco has undergone all of these invasive procedures, his treatment to date in his normal brave and courageous manner and without a day's complaint, he is an inspiration to us all and such a fighter."

As the family exhausted the treatment options in Ireland, they looked to the U.S to seek further help. 

There are various clinical trials which have had some success that are specifically designed to treat Roccos' diagnosed tumour. 

His case was reviewed by several leading hospitals and Rocco was accepted for treatment in Texas. This requires a significant amount of money.

The family set up a GoFundme page which received and continues to receive incredible support from the county and beyond, raising thousands of euros to help support Rocco's treatment.

In February 2022, Rocco made his return from his first trip to Texas after responding well to treatment.

His family continued: "He continues to get his treatment from home and is tolerating it really well. He’s enjoying spending time with his family and friends and doing all the things a teenager his age should be doing.

"Rocco is definitely an inspiration to us all and is taking his diagnosis and everything that comes along with it in his stride, he’s amazing." 

Rocco returned to Texas to see his Doctors and Nurses in mid April as the family and community continue to pray for good news.  

His family added: "We want to say a big thank you to everyone who has supported and continues to support Rocco on his journey, this really would not have been possible without the kindness and generosity of so many of you and Rocco and his family are so grateful. Thank you all."

Ronan, Clodagh and Leonie said they are so grateful for everyone who has donated so far, "We are trying to help with the costs of travelling to America as much as possible.

"Rocco has already seen positive results with a 30% reduction in the tumour. Thank you so much to everyone who has donated, we are so grateful."

The trio hope to skydive this Sunday (July 24) with Skydive Ireland in Garvagh.

You can donate and support via: https://www.gofundme.com/ f/dywwdn-roccos-road-to- recovery or pop into the salon at Derry's Schoolhouse Lane.

To donate to Roccos' family's fundraising page, you can donate via: https://www.gofundme.com/ f/roccoss-road-to-rocovery

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