A father of three must raise $250,000 for a life-saving operation and treatment in the U.S. after being diagnosed with stage 4 abdominal cancer.
Declan Ferguson, 47, from Lavey in Co. Cavan is now appealing for help to reach his target so he can see his three children grow up, 2-year-old Dara and 10-week-old twins Declan and Lauren.
A Gofundme page has been set up which has so far raised $59,030 towards that target. The operation and subsequent treatment are due to commence in mid-August.
“Without funding, this operation will not be possible. Without help, I will die sooner rather than later,” said Delcan.
“Through the kindness of family and friends I have been financially and emotionally supported to receive the treatment I need so far.
“I’ve reached out to everyone possible in terms of family and friends and while they have supported me fully within each of their means – it’s just not enough and I am now desperately seeking help.”
Declan visited his doctor in March after experiencing an “excruciating pain” in his back. A subsequent scan revealed stage 4 abdominal cancer with the prognoses that he would be “very lucky to see Christmas”.
“At a meeting with a consultant in Beaumont Hospital in Dublin I was told there was no treatment available to me and palliative care was all that was on offer,” said Declan, who has been living through “a daily rollercoaster of emotions” ever since.
With Declan’s wife, Louise, heavily pregnant with twins at the time, he refused to accept such a diagnoses as a “viable option” and encouraged by family members in Florida he sought a second opinion.
Doctors there were “more optimistic” with treatments available in America that are not currently available in Ireland.
“I had watched my mother die from cancer, progressively getting weaker and this wasn’t something I could envisage putting my wife and young family through,” said Declan.
He commenced an aggressive chemotherapy regime in America on 5 April with a view to shrinking the tumour prior to surgery.
Based in America since April, Declan missed the birth of his beautiful twins, but is reconciled to “focusing on the bigger picture”.
He said: “I’m missing out on these first months as I want to be around as all three of our children grow up. Go to those football games, hold them when the tears come, be there for their birthdays, first day at school and hopefully see them get married.”
The medical team recommended an immunotherapy sponsorship programme onto which Declan was accepted and started at the end of May.
On 26 June, a full body scan confirmed the tumour has shrunk enough to carry out the surgery.
To donate go to https://www.gofundme.com/save-declans-life