Magazine article about Anthony
Coping With Cancer - Help Is On Hand
Manus Martin is an EOI based in Richmond Chambers JobCentre in Derry. In May his ten-year-old son Anthony was diagnosed as suffering from Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma Cancer. Manus tells of some of the effects of this illness and highlights the great work being done by local cancer charities to help children and families to cope with this disease. Only about 80 children per year in the whole of the UK suffer from this illness and about one or two from Northern Ireland. This is a very aggressive form of cancer, not dissimilar to leukaemia, and the chemotherapy used to treat it is the same. Fortunately the prognosis for this disease is a 70% to 80% cure rate. However this involves three years of, at times, very aggressive and grueling chemotherapy. Words cannot describe the devastating effects this illness has had on Anthony and our family. During the time we have been very fortunate to be supported by a number of local charities. In fact I would say we could not have coped this far without the help of these groups. Sergent Cancer Care gives practical financial and emotional support to children and their families. The charity has a house at the Royal Victoria Hospital which as we live in Derry, we have used on quite a number of occasions. Shine A Light is a small locally based charity which helps children and families to try and forget their illness by organizing trips and outing. We spent a very peaceful and enjoyable week in a beautiful holiday cottage in Kesh at a time when we really needed the break. The charity is run by voluntary organizer Billy McGrory who can be contacted on 9073 9868. Northern Ireland Cancer Fund for Children provides practical support via, amongst other things, a holiday home in Newcastle and a Youth support group. Again we were very glad of their support and assistance. The charity can be contacted via Catherine Murnin on 9187 4020. MacMillan Cancer Relief is a well-known UK-wide Cancer Charity. The charity has two nurses attached to the Royal and they provide much needed guidance with the medical aspects of Cancer. Their fundraising contact is Paul Sweeney, telephone 9066 1166. Next time you are looking for an excuse to party, perhaps you could turn it into a fund raising occasion for these wonderful charities. For the more energetic maybe you could consider sponsored walks, runs, parachute jumps or anything at all to help. I can be contacted on 7127 2821 (office) or 7136 1449 (home). Anthony continues to respond well to his treatments, please keep him in your thoughts and prayers.
Anthony's legacy lives on online From the Derry Journal
It has been four years since 10-years-old Anthony Martin from Pennyburn lost his battle with Leukaemia, but his devoted parents Manus and Majella are determined that his memory will live on so that other families facing this devastating illness will know support is available. Part of that support is ensure that cancer charities the Northern Ireland Cancer Fund for Children and the Northern Ireland Leukaemia Research Fund are kept in the hearts and minds of the public. According to Manus, it was therefore important to him that when a website was being designed in memory of his beloved son that reference be made to these charities. "When Anthony was sick we got a lot of support from an online group the NHL (Non Hodgkin's Lymphoma) Cyber Family, which is run by a Canadian man Greg Dafoe. "Greg helped us design a website for Anthony, but he also hosts a photo gallery on the support site Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma Cyberfamily where there is a page dedicated to our son's memory. "Usually on this page Greg would put a flag denoting the country where the person comes from, but instead of getting into the tricky politics of Northern Ireland we asked could he instead post the logos of these two very important charities. "He agreed, and also linked directly to their own websites so people visiting have a chance to donate money where they can." Anthony's website is a moving tribute to a child who was full of life and fun and while it must be still be emotional for the Martin family to look at pictures of their beloved son before illness took over all their lives, they say they can think of no better tribute than to help others. "Anthony was never downhearted or sad about his illness. He was full of life, so it is nice to do something so positive in his memory," Manus said. Claire Allan Reporter Derry Journal Direct line: 02871272256 Fax: 02871272260 Email: [email protected] www.derryjournal.com