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06 Dec 2021

Help make Laois woman's cervical cancer miracle happen

Campaign underway to help courageous Laois mum Roxy Phelan find a cure for cervical cancer

Help make Laois woman's cervical cancer miracle happen

Roxy Phelan is the mum of two young boys, Cathal (10) and Setanta (5) and is the loving wife of Jason.

Laois woman Roxy Phelan is the mum of two young boys, Cathal (10) and Setanta (5) and she is the loving wife of Jason.

She hails from Rathdowney and had been living a normal life in Abbeyleix until 20017 when her life, and the lives of her husband and children were turned upside down.

Roxy Phelan was first diagnosed that year with stage 1B2 Cervical Cancer.

At the early stage Roxy was treated with Cisplatin chemotherapy, external radiation and brachytherapy. After treatment ended Roxy went through the usual checkups every few weeks and for two years it was assumed that she was in the clear.

Unfortunately, in 2019 after a routine scan it was discovered that the cancer was still present and had spread to the para aortic lymph node which meant the cancer was now stage 4 and to make matters worse the previous treatment of external radiation had damaged her bladder and kidneys.

Fast forward to 2021 and Roxy has persevered with palliative chemotherapy which fought back some of the cancer and she was then put on to the Pembrolizumab to try to prevent the remaining cancer from spreading any further.

Roxy was doing great on the pembrolizumab for a while, she was happy and grasping everything life had to offer her with a thirst!

She would be up first thing in the morning and seeing her two young boys off to school, she would get in a nice 10k walk with her faithful dog Grace and she would snap pictures along the way while basking in gratitude at the world around her and the life she had been afforded by the miracle of modern medicine.

Roxy would maintain her home and cook for her family and she became a valuable admin for the support group Cervical Cancer Awareness Ireland (CCAI). Roxy has provided valuable information, a shoulder to lean on and a firm friendship for many many women who have been unfortunate enough to be struck by this horrendous cancer.

Her friends say her role within the CCAI has been vital to so many women and to her friends and family she is irreplaceable, a real one in a million!

During 2021, Roxy developed severe pain in her left hip which grounded her completely, she was no longer able to go for her walks. She is now unable to help around the house and the pain was so severe it caused her to vomit constantly!

She has lost 10kg in weight and she is unable to stomach much and it has taken a long time to get on top the pain relief.

On November 5, 2021 Roxy received the devastating news that the cancer has spread further and this is what is causing the unbearable pain in the hip, she has now been taken off the Pembro and unless a suitable trial is found in Ireland she will need to do Palliative chemo once again but her quality of life will be drastically reduced.

Roxy is already in a wheelchair and she is trying to adjust to her new norm.

When Roxy was first diagnosed with cancer and underwent the traumatic treatment she became very weak and Jason needed to reduce his work load and become a full time carer for his family.

Roxy has been a tremendous help to so many people, before she became unwell she volunteered her time working with the homeless and distributing care packages.

Roxy has to travel to three different hospitals for her appointments, she will go to Tullamore for bloods then the following day is Beaumont for treatment and St Luke’s for scans and consultation.

This can all happen in the same week and the cost of fuel for these journeys is crippling for this family and on treatment days Jason and the two young laddies will be sitting in the car all day waiting for her because childcare is a luxury they can not afford!

There have been times where Roxy has had to get in the car after hearing bad news and try to keep herself together until the boys are out of earshot.

Her friends and community want to raise funds for Roxy to help her find a clinical trial anywhere in the world and be able to afford the necessity of travel, medicine and subsidy. They also hope funds raised will pay for treatments in Ireland that are not covered on the medical card like vitamin C infusions and hyperbaric oxygen therapy and even the cost of an Oncofocus test to help us find the correct clinical trials.

You can help this truly amazing woman by donating as much or as little as you possibly can at a special gofundme page which has raised nearly €25,000.

The fundraising team behind the page, Kim Hanly Louise Swift and Roxy, have raised €22,598 from 564 other donations.

The page is called Roxy’s Miracle, Finding A Clinical Trial For Roxy.

There will be another chance to help at big fundraising events in Abbeyleix on Saturday and Sunday, November 27 and 28.

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