Megan is an inspiration
“My daughter, Megan O’Leary, is a seven-year-old from Wicklow town. She came up with the idea of fundraising from her own experience of being sick. She hates getting her hair brushed so she wanted to get it cut. I told her about the Princess Trust and she said she’d donate her hair, but she didn’t have long enough hair at the time. She ended up getting sick last summer and we were in Crumlin. She was there for about two weeks and she saw little girls with no hair. She realised they must have had chemo, and she decided she wanted to donate her hair to those girls. She wanted to hit the two birds with the one stone by donating the hair and fundraising for the hospital so that they could buy lifesaving equipment and help other children. Megan spent 7 months growing her hair out. So far she has raised €820 and she’s still going. She was very shy about (the fundraising), she didn’t want to tell people about it, so a lot of it was done on Facebook.
She’s most excited about handing the money over because she knows how important it is and where it’s going. She collected most of the money via iDonate. Every time someone would donate we’d tell her and she’d write a thank you message back. She’s very considerate like that and she’s very appreciative.
She was very excited on the day [she got her hair cut] - she was going around telling everyone. Now that it’s cut, I don’t think she’s fully realised what a huge achievement it is, especially for someone so young. I’m so proud of how much empathy and compassion she has. She said she wanted to help other sick children who were sicker than she was.
I think her time in hospital was quite impactful on her. She was really sick for the first week and the second week it was all about tests. Her little freddies kept collapsing and she kept having to get new ones. The nurses were so lovely to her and the doctors were really funny with her. They made her laugh. She’s happy to be home but she was really well looked after in Crumlin and she hasn’t forgot it. We’ll never forget how kind the staff were. She loved the playroom, she loved the little girl she made friends with, and she still talks about the nurses – they were all really good to her. She was so worried, she’s one of life’s worriers. The play therapists were wonderful with Megan. They are amazing at what they do and they help take a bit of worry off the children. That’s one of the reasons why CMRF Crumlin means so much to us both.
Megan will be back in Our Lady’s this week for her MRI scan and she’s going to give the money in to CMRF Crumlin then. Megan has an auto-inflammatory disease called Chronic Recurrent Multifocal Osteomyelitis, or CRMO. The annual incidence of CRMO is estimated to be 1/250,000 to 1/100,000. The research we are helping is into the genetics of CRMO. It is a rare condition with a one in one million chance of getting it. They’ll take some of her blood to do tests on it because she is one of the very few people diagnosed with it. She is very keen to get involved in the research. She said if her blood will stop other people getting it she’ll happily donate it. She’s got a kind heart!”
Judy Brock, Megan O’Leary’s mother, 20th March 2018.