BRAVELY BATTLING Regina Duffy is pictured with her husband Jason on their wedding day. A momentous fundraising campaign has meant Regina has been able to start her cancer treatment in New York this week.
Cross-community campaign reaches initial target of €370,000 for Regina’s Fight for Life
‘WORDS are inadequate to describe the sense of relief’ Regina Duffy felt when she received confirmation that ‘the seemingly impossible target of €370,000 had been reached in such a short time’ for her cancer treatment in New York.
It is now due to start at the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center later this week thanks to the thousands of people who have supported the ‘Regina’s Fight for Life’ campaign both online and through numerous fundraisers.
“I knew how close it was on Thursday night, but when [my sister-in-law] Sian and [my sister] Adele finally confirmed it on Friday afternoon, I’ll admit that there were tears shed,” the Mayo teacher told The Mayo News yesterday (Monday).
Her story about a third cancer diagnosis has led to a huge cross-community fundraising campaign over the last fortnight which has resonated around the country.
Now, since the funding landed in the hospital’s bank account yesterday afternoon, the treatment of her rare brain cancer is set to start later this week.
“It is hoped that within the coming days, certainly before the end of the week, it will have begun. To start with, she will be an outpatient, making daily trips to hospital. This is subject to review as the treatment progresses. As things stand, Regina expects to be up to four months in New York, but again this is not set in stone,” Adele Duffy, Regina’s only sister said.
Praising her sister-in-law, Sian, whom she said had ‘done an amazing job on social media’, Adele Duffy said: “The response to our efforts and the huge outpouring of support has really been breathtaking. We have found ourselves moved to tears by the incredible kindness and generosity shown by so many people. There have been numerous fundraisers, many of them organised by people we don’t even know. There have also been so many donations to the GoFundMe page and to the Regina’s Fight for Life bank account from people who have read about Regina’s story or heard about it on radio.
“We have also received loans from family and friends that helped bridge the gap while we await the release of the money raised via GoFundMe. Without these loans, we wouldn’t be in a position to get Regina started on her treatment so soon. We feel we can never adequately thank all these people.”
Regina herself added: “I am also indebted to my fantastic friends, not only for the donations, but also for the messages of support that have helped keep up my spirits.”
When asked about the status of the campaign now, Adele explained that it would be continuing since the €370,000 was only the initial cost.
“€370,000 was the starting point, not the end point by any means. Our efforts will continue unabated, as Regina will potentially require substantial additional funding. Should we reach a point down the road when Regina no longer requires the fund, any remaining money will be donated to charity. But for now, our focus remains firmly fixed on ensuring she has access to any treatment she needs. For this reason, we are asking people to continue to support the many fundraisers we have planned over the coming months.”
Donations can still be made at gofundme.com/reginaduffyfightforlife and numerous other fundraiser are taking place locally in the coming weeks.