FIGHTING FOR HER LIFE: Little Chloe Jenkins, who is pictured with her parents Deborah O’Connor from Killorglin and Gareth Jenkins from Dublin, is flighting a rare neuroblastoma.

By Michelle Crean

A little girl, whose mom is from Killorglin, is fighting for her life as she battles a very rare neuroblastoma and faces an uncertain future.
Family of Chloe Jenkins set up a GoFundMe page: ‘Chloe’s Journey’ to help raise €150,000 for her ongoing care.

Since it was created eight days ago, it has already raised over €9,000 through the kindness of over 250 donations from the public. Footballer Kieran Donaghy has also rowed in on the campaign by featuring in an online video made by relative Brendan Reidy from Killorglin to promote the fundraiser.

Chloe, only child of Deborah O’Connor from Mount Lyne and Dubliner Gareth Jenkins, was diagnosed with the very rare cancer on March 17, aged just 14 months-old. Now five months on, the brave tot, who has endured six rounds of chemotherapy so far,
continues to fight every day.

However, as the tumour is located in her abdomen and wrapped ‘like ivy’ around vital organs, it’s putting pressure on her left kidney which is only functioning at 14 percent resulting in high blood pressure and putting strain on her heart. And although the tumour is shrinking, it is not pulling back from vital organs and major blood vessels. Chloe might soon need a massive operation and her family are preparing for news that they may
need to travel to Germany for proton therapy, a specific form of radiotherapy.

“It’s been a tough five-and-a-half months. It’s unimaginable,” her devastated mom Deborah told the Killarney Advertiser this week.

“She’s tough, it takes an awful lot to take her down. I’m hoping she’ll keep fighting back. We just have to take it week by week. You have good weeks and bad weeks and there’s days if you stop and think, it’s hard. Hopefully we’ll get through it.”

She added that setting up the page is not only to raise funds but also to raise awareness of the cancer, she explained.
“It isn’t a very common cancer, it’s a hard one to catch. Lily-Mae Morrison, otherwise known as ‘Tiny Dancer’ had the same condition as Chloe.”

Family, in a bid to do something to help, set up the GoFundMe to help take the financial pressure off of both Deborah and Gareth while they spend precious time with their daughter.

“I don’t like asking for help, but we still have to plan for what Chloe might need. All we can do is deal with the cards we are dealt and do our best for her. Our families have been a great help to us. There’s no Government help for parents going through this, you’re relying on charity. Anything that would be raised and not used we’d donate to charities we’ve used such as Aoibheann’s Pink Tie, Hand in Hand, the Irish Cancer Society and the Ronald McDonald House.”

For more see GoFundMe: Chloe’s Journey

Check out Kieran Donaghy’s video for Chloe here