Mid Louth Independent - - NEWS - By ALI­SON COMYN

A Lay­town mum is try­ing to move heaven and earth to raise funds for her teenage son to bat­tle a rare form of can­cer.

Na­dia Vavro says her son Slavomir (Slav) needs life-sav­ing treat­ment abroad and she has set her­self the mon­u­men­tal task of rais­ing €50,000 so he can get the best care avail­able.

‘We have to try ev­ery­thing pos­si­ble to save our lovely boy,’ says Na­dia, who is orig­i­nally from Slavakia and has lived in Min­nis­town for the past four years.

“We have cre­ated a Go Fund Me page in hopes that we can fo­cus on his care, and not the costs we are fac­ing.”

13-year-old Slav, who is a pupil of Gor­manston Col­lege, was di­ag­nosed with Alve­o­lar Rhab­domyosar­coma, a rare skele­tal mus­cle can­cer, in late Jan­uary.

“Slav de­vel­oped sud­den stom­ach and back pain just two weeks be­fore the di­ag­no­sis. They even iso­lated him think­ing it was TB but af­ter an MRI and bone mar­row biopsy, the can­cer was found,” she told the Drogheda In­de­pen­dent.

“I will never for­get the doc­tor ask­ing me if we could have a chat. I felt rooted to the spot and the only thing I could say was; ‘this is too scary’.

Slav was trans­ferred to Our Lady’s Hos­pi­tal in Crum­lin for fur­ther tests which showed that the pri­mary lo­ca­tion of the can­cer was in the arch of his foot. How­ever, it had spread to his spine and bone mar­row.

Slav be­gan chemo in Ire­land on Jan­uary 26th and it is sched­uled for 27 weeks with ad­di­tional main­te­nance treat­ment af­ter. How­ever, his con­sul­tant is giv­ing the fam­ily a poor prog­no­sis, as there is only one pro­to­col for the dis­ease in Ire­land.

“As a mother you do not want to, and you can­not, tell your child that he has a can­cer,’ says the heart­bro­ken woman, who has given up her job as a so­cial worker to care for her son.

“Slav is al­ways smil­ing, spread­ing a good en­ergy around and he is grate­ful for ev­ery day. His class­mates and fel­low scouts keep him cheer­ful, but does not de­serve this. There is no child on this earth who would de­serve some­thing like this.”

A GoFundMe page has now been started and many lo­cal groups are or­gan­is­ing fundrais­ing events to boost the funds, which are now stand­ing at just over €10,000.

“We all pass fundrais­ers on the street ev­ery day but un­til it is our own child, we don’t un­der­stand what it means. Ev­ery­thing else is mean­ing­less,” adds Na­dia.

“All funds will go to­wards Slav’s med­i­cal help and any re­main­ing funds will go to­wards help­ing an­other child with can­cer and their fam­i­lies”.

Slav’s sis­ter Michaela (23) and 15-year-old brother Vlad are also help­ing with fundrais­ing ef­forts.

The fam­ily lived in Rush, Co Dublin for six years, and Rush Cam­era Club is sell­ing lo­cal prints in Tesco, Rush, on April 28th to help the cam­paign.

The day be­fore there will be a bake sale and non school uni­form day in Gor­manstown Col­lege in aid of Help for Slav.

While wait­ing for ad­vice on the best treat­ment to ac­cess abroad, the fam­ily is fundrais­ing so they are ready to go, when called for.

“We are cur­rently await­ing for the re­sults of the ge­nomic tests to come back, which might help us to iden­tify the treat­ment abroad,’ adds Na­dia.

“Tri­als are avail­able in New York or Texas, and we have been told a form of im­munother­apy which is not in Ire­land would be our only hope.”

Slav is fight­ing the can­cer bravely, but his mum says side af­fects of the chemo, like los­ing his hair, are hard on her son.

“As a mother, I would never be ready for all side ef­fects and ev­ery­thing that we went and are go­ing through.

“You are never ready for that.”

More in­for­ma­tion can be found on the face­book page Help for Slav (Rhab­domyosar­coma) or any­one wish­ing to do­nate can do so at help-for-slav-rhab­domyosar­coma

“As a mother you do not want to, or can­not, tell your child that he has a can­cer”

Na­dia Vavro says her son Slavomir (Slav) needs life-sav­ing treat­ment abroad and she has set her­self the mon­u­men­tal task of rais­ing €50,000 so he can get the best care avail­able.

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