The parents of little Katie Rose McKeown have been overwhelmed by the generosity of pupils and staff at St Patrick’s Primary School in Armagh as they received a cheque for close to £17,000.
Katie Rose, a pupil of the school at Loughgall Road, was diagnosed with Stage 4 High-Risk Neuroblastoma – a highly aggressive form of childhood cancer – in March of last year.
The community has been fundraising intensively – and nowhere more so than at her own school.
It was last November that Katie Rose’s Journey joined with ‘Solving Kids Cancer’ to look to potential further treatment in America, if needed, when the treatment available on the NHS reaches its limit.
Solving Kids Cancer is a charity which supports when a neuroblastoma diagnosis. Its aim is to help families affected by the cancer through supporting access to treatment, funding research, parent education and raising awareness.
Katie Rose’s family hope she will be in remission at the end of frontline treatment at home, but in 40-50% of children diagnosed with high-risk neuroblastoma, the cancer does return.
It means that Katie Rose’s family are raising funds in case she needs to access treatment in the USA, and this could cost hundreds of thousands of pounds.
Parents Kevin and Una visited St Patrick’s Primary School this week to receive the proceeds of ongoing fundraising efforts there towards Katie-Rose’s Journey.
Many events have been held over the past number of months and the family have thanked principal Sean McKinley and the entire staff for their continued support, as well as school council members, led by Ms Savage, who worked tirelessly at all the activities.
They have thanked too the parents who brought sponsor cards to work to help, those with business interests who also made separate donations and to the individual children who donated money from their birthdays and sacraments to the appeal.
Their gratitude also goes out to all those parents who organised events within their own communities and family groups to raise funds too.
Said Kevin and Una: “We were totally overwhelmed as we were presented with a cheque for an incredible £16,920 in aid of ‘Katie Rose’s Journey ‘.
“We take great comfort knowing the greatest efforts attained in gathering such a substantial sum and the impact it will have on our overall Fundraising Campaign.
“We are and continue to be utterly astounded by the overall support and generosity of everyone who has contributed to ‘Katie Rose’s Journey Appeal’ to date.
“We see this as yet again a positive step towards allowing Katie Rose every chance to avail of further treatment and therefore a better chance of living cancer free, please God.
“For this we will be eternally grateful to everyone involved.”