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Get Gary Home!

We are raffling off a CERTIFIED AUTHENTIC SIGNED IRELAND RUGBY JERSEY with all proceeds going to our beautiful friend Sarah and her little family who need as much support as possible right now.

RAFFLE WILL TAKE PLACE ON DEC 5TH

1 ENTRY €10, 2 ENTRIES €15 OE 3 ENTRIES €20

Sarah's husband Gary has recently been diagnosed with Stage 4 Renal Cell Carcinoma, a kidney tumour that has then spread to the Brain, causing a metastatic tumour. We are hoping to raise as much as we possibly can so Gary can return to their family home with their two little boys Charlie (3) and Alfie (18 months).

Read their story below in Sarah's words:

Gary and I met in Australia in 2011 whilst completing our regional farm work. We started dating and lived together there for 2 years. We then moved to New Zealand, where we resided for another 5 years. We got engaged in 2015, and moving back to Ireland in September 2017, to plan our wedding. We got married in May 2018 and bought our 1st home together in June 2019. We then had our 1st child Charlie in November 2019, followed by our 2nd boy Alfie in March 2021. Our lives were like any other recently married couple with 2 young children, until our lives changed forever on 20th September 2022....

We attended a friends wedding on 10th September, which was filled full of joy and laughter, until the the weekend was over and the hangovers kicked in. That following week, Gary was still experiencing heachaches and sickness and put down his symptoms to the effects of the previous weekend.

The week of 19th September Gary still wasn’t feeling well and on Tuesday 20th September morning Gary started vomiting at home accompanied by a pounding headache. He attended A&E at the Ulster Hospital, where they carried out a CT scan of his head and discovered a brain tumour measuring 3cm x 3cm in the right frontal lobe. A CT Chest, Abdomen and Pelvis scan was then performed where another tumour was detected in his right kidney measuring 5cm x 5cm.

This was an absolute shock to Gary as well as the extended family. Gary was admitted into the Ulster that day where he was monitored for the next 3 days and then discharged for the weekend.

Gary’s treatment pathway was, however, delayed due to being under the care of two different trusts and mis-communication between specialities. This caused great distress for myself, Gary and the family as we wanted a treatment plan put in place as soon as possible. Gary remained at home for a further 4 weeks and within this time he had one face to face meeting with the neurosurgeon, followed by diagnostic imaging of the brain. Gary was then admitted for brain surgery on 23rd October, the day after his 41st birthday.

The surgery was a great success as per the neurosurgeon as he managed to remove the brain tumour in its entirety, which was not the initial plan. However, 72 hours post surgery Gary developed brain swelling, requiring a bone flap to be removed and inserted into his abdomen. This followed a week in Intensive Care where he made good progress; however, due to damage to the brain he has now suffered sight impairment, known as ‘haemianopia’. This has left Gary only being able to see out of the right side of both eyes, causing a drastic lifestyle change.

He has found it difficult to come to terms with this, as he will no longer be able to work, drive, do the normal day to day tasks that we all take for granted, and ultimately be able to look after Charlie and Alfie unaided. Gary was also a member of the St. Johns GAA juvenile’s up to senior men’s and masters team. He also played Gaelic for Marist Rangers GAA in Auckland. His visual impairment will now prevent him from participating in the sport that he loves. I have also been unable to return to work as I will now need to be my husband’s full-time carer as well taking care of Charlie and Alfie, until Gary adjusts to his home environment. Our house will require modification to accommodate Gary’s additional needs. This has caused added financial strain on top of everything else, as we went from 2 parents who worked full-time to me only receiving statutory sick pay and Gary being unable to work.

Gary is currently still an inpatient in the Royal Victoria Hospital in Belfast, making good progress, although he is still waiting on further surgery to have the bone flap re-inserted into his brain, which we hope will be a success, allowing him to return home for Christmas and to see Charlie and Alfie. We still await a treatment plan for his kidney, which will be Gary’s next obstacle to overcome. We would greatly appreciate your prayers and support through this difficult time for our family.

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Raffles

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Styne House, Hatch Street Upper, Dublin, Dublin, IRELAND

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