BATTLE Teacher Regina Duffy is having treatment for a rare form of cancer in New York. She is pictured on her wedding day last year.
FOR these newlyweds a New Year trip to New York should have been a second honeymoon, a romantic getaway, a precious time to reflect on their March 2018 nuptials. Instead, it is a fight for life for 38-year-old Westport native, Regina Duffy, a teacher in St Colman’s College, Claremorris.
It is a fight she is taking on – bravely, as usual – alongside her loving husband, Jason Donoghue from Tuam.
It is a fight against a third cancer diagnosis made just before Christmas. It is a rare brain disease that would have left Regina with a bleak prognosis if she stayed at home in Ireland for treatment.
Fortunately, some forensic research has led her to the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York where she had a consultation last week with a specialist in this form of cancer and where she now now hopes to receive treatment. However, as her sister-in-law Sian Devine Duffy told The Mayo News, the cost of this treatment could culminate in a bill of €250,000.
Sian is one of the organisers of an online fundraising campaign, called Regina’s Fight for Life.
Speaking to The Mayo News yesterday, she said: “We need to raise money very quickly as time is of the essence for Regina. Herself and Jason went to New York last week and had a consultation on Thursday and they have told her they can offer her treatment, which is about to start in the coming days.”
SIAN explained that her brave sister-in-law and dear friend was first diagnosed with breast cancer in 2011.
“Once treatment was finished, we were hopeful that she could move on from this challenging time in her life. Sadly this was not to be. In 2014 her cancer returned, this time in the form of a brain tumour. Once again she made it through treatment and bounced back. However, two years later, in 2016, she and all the family were dealt a severe blow with the death of their beloved mother, Julia. Regina had relied so much on her unwavering support, as she too had fought her own breast cancer battle,” Sian said.
Regina Duffy worked as a teacher in Dublin for several years before returning home to Drummin last year. She took up a position as a German and Spanish teacher in St Colman’s College, Claremorris, loving the fact that she was just teaching down the road from her native place.
“When 2017 dawned, Regina was busy planning her wedding to Jason and it seemed like her life had finally taken a turn for the better. Their wedding in March 2018 was a wonderful occasion, so you can imagine that this latest diagnosis coming so soon after it seems so unfathomably cruel. But her indomitable spirit and zest for life means she is ready for the fight again but this time she needs huge support as the costs are exorbitant,” Sian Devine explains.
Continuing, she said: “Unfortunately Regina’s cancer is rare and difficult to treat. Her only chance of a successful outcome was to seek treatment abroad, which is what brought her to Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York. The world leaders in her cancer are based there and are currently engaged in research and developing new treatments.”
To join the fundraising campaign or make a donation towards Regina’s treatment see Facebook, Reginas-Fight-For-Life or https://www.gofundme.com/regina039s-fight-for-life