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Regina’s treatment begins


BRAVE BATTLERegina Duffy has begun treatment at the Memorial Sloan Kettering Center in New York.

Áine Ryan

COUNTY Mayo teacher Regina Duffy started her life-saving treatment in a New York cancer centre yesterday (Monday), The Mayo News can confirm. It is almost a month since she and her husband, Jason Donoghue, travelled to the US city for a consultation at the Memorial Sloan Kettering Center where she was deemed suitable for a treatment programme if an initial €370,000 funding was put in place. This was achieved in less than two weeks in a phenomenal cross-community fundraising campaign, ‘Regina’s Fight for Life’, led by her sister, Adele and sister-in-law, Sian Devine.    
Speaking to The Mayo News yesterday, Adele Duffy said everyone is so relieved that the treatment was starting while again reiterating the huge gratitude felt by Regina, her husband Jason O’Donoghue and their entire family,
“Regina isn’t sure yet how long the daily visits will be but yesterday’s was most likely going to be a long consultation, just to get everything started. A short walk every day is just about the extent of her movements outdoors and sitting around is anathema to Regina, so it is fantastic that she can finally get started after a month of waiting and wondering.”
The Drummin, Westport, native, who is now fighting her third battle with cancer, told The Mayo News last week that ‘words were inadequate to describe the sense of relief’ she felt after ‘the seemingly impossible target of €370,000 had been reached in such a short time’ for her cancer treatment.
The 38-year-old secondary-school teacher was first diagnosed with breast cancer in 2011, with the cancer returning in 2014 in the form of a brain tumour. Once again she made it through treatment and bounced back.
However, she was dealt another blow in 2016 when her mother, Julia – a stalwart throughout Regina’s health challenges – died of breast cancer.  
At the start of 2017, Regina was busy planning her wedding to Jason, and it seemed like her life had finally taken a turn for the better. The couple were wed in March 2018, but their joy was short-lived. Just before Christmas, Regina was told the worst news: the cancer had returned. However, the Memorial Sloan Kettering Center’s specialist treatments have now offered her hope and a much better prognosis available in Ireland.

The final fundraiser by the Louisburgh Regina’s Fight For Life campaign is set to take place in Joe McNamara’s Bar in Louisburgh on Saturday next, February 9. It promises to be a jam-packed night with raffles, an auction and musical entertainment. Starting at 8.30pm among the items on auction or for the raffles are a pure-bred Shorthorn Heifer, ewe lambs, freezer ready lambs, trailers of firewood and turf, bales of silage, as well as a broad range of vouchers, and much more. Further information on the Louisburgh event is available from Joe McNamara, 087 7606251. For information on other fundraisers, see Facebook, ‘Regina’s Fight for Life’.