Belfast Telegraph

Boy who battled cancer shares story

A brave little boy who battled liver cancer while the country went bust is to share his story for charity.

Conor Reidy was struck with an aggressive form of childhood cancer as Ireland's economy plunged in to deep recession.

A Lot Can Happen In A Year And A Half, penned by Conor's parents Michael and Geraldine under his name, follows an emotional journey from his shock diagnoses and through his punishing treatment.

Mr Reidy said luckily his six-year-old son made a speedier recovery than the State's finances.

"I started writing this as a private diary of what was happening to Conor and recording all the ups and downs and anxious moments," said Mr Reidy, from Booterstown, south Dublin. "As the year was going on I started noticing that Conor wasn't the only one who was sick, the country was too, and it all had to do with the banks and property.

"The book became Conor's version of 'reeling in the years' so in 20 years time he can read back on what was happening around him. It ends with the International Monetary Fund knocking on the door."

Conor was diagnosed with a rare form of liver cancer in April 2009 after complaining of stomach pain.

Aged just five, he started gruelling chemotherapy treatment in Crumlin Children's Hospital. But within four months he was airlifted to London by the Air Corps for a lifesaving liver transplant. "Thankfully, 18 months on, Conor has made a good recovery and is back in school where he rightfully belongs," Mr Reidy said.

All proceeds from the book - which costs 20 euro from www.originalwriting.ie - will go to St John's Ward at Our Lady's Children's Hospital, Crumlin, and the Children's Medical and Research Foundation. The family want it to give hope to youngsters with a life threatening disease, highlight the vital need for organ donation and raise 3,000 euro.

Mr Reidy said research is one of the most difficult areas for which to raise money. "Without it Conor and many more children like him simply would not be alive today," he added.

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