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“Fulfil my daughter Eimear’s dying wish”
A WEST Belfast man has appealed for help to “fulfil my daughter Eimear’s dying wish” following her death from complications following a Stem cell transplant to treat blood cancer, aged just 25. Sean Smyth, who campaigned tirelessly to find a potential stem cell match, is hoping that members of the public will help him “honour Eimear’s memory” by signing the stem cell donor registry. He is also seeking donations of gold jewellery gathering dust in drawers after a Belfast jewellers agreed to buy and recycle it to raise money for three charities. Eimear Gooderham (née Smyth) passed away in June, just a week after marrying her fiancé Philip in hospital. The make-up artist from the Coolnasilla area was diagnosed with stage two Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, a type of blood cancer, in September 2016 shortly after she had graduated. She underwent 12 cycles of chemotherapy and was given the all-clear in spring 2017. But a few weeks later, she felt unwell and tests found it had returned. In December 2017, Eimear was treated with an autologous stem cell transplant, intensive chemotherapy and her own stem cells returned afterwards to rescue her bone marrow from the effect of the treatment. After five weeks in isolation she returned home and 100 days later was given the good news she was in remission. But the Hodgkin’s Lymphoma returned for a second time and doctors said her best chance of survival was another stem cell transplant – this time from an anonymous donor. Her father launched a campaign to help raise awareness of the stem cell register, which allows donors of the correct tissue types to be matched with patients. He said at the time: “I can’t fix my daughter, but someone else can, someone who could join the register and become the donor that Eimear desperately needs”. Last September, a match was found and Eimear underwent surgery, but she suffered complications from the stem cell transplant and lost her fight for life in June. Almost four months on, her father is appealing for the public’s support to help others faced with the same condition as his beloved daughter. “Eimear’s dying wish was that more people would join the Stem Cell Donor Registry,” said Mr Smyth. “Anyone between the ages of 16 to 55 and in general good health can become a potential blood stem cell donor. The healthiest stem cells come from people aged between 16 to 30. “Young men in this age group make up only 16 per cent of the Anthony Nolan register, but they provide an astonishing 55 per cent of all donations. “This is where you can help me honour Eimear’s memory by encouraging your family and friends to join the stem cell donor registry at Anthony Nolan, and DKMS if you are aged over 30.” In a further initiative, in a bid to raise funds for three charities, Mr Smyth has teamed up with a Belfast jewellers who have agreed to buy old jewellery. “A single gold earring, broken gold chain, or damaged gold ring may be of sentimental value, however it isn’t of any real financial value,” said Mr Smyth. “Our friends at Murray and Co Jewellers in the Cathedral Quarter have agreed to pay us the top market rate for donate broken gold. “Murray & Co are kindly doing this free of charge with all the revenue raised from the scrap gold going to the Friends of Cancer Centre Belfast, Action Cancer and Anthony Nolan. “Please help us keep Eimear’s memory alive by joining the stem cell donor registry to give hope to people with life threatening illness and to support their families by donating broken or no longer loved gold items.” You can make donation at all Action Cancer shops throughout N Ireland. Alternatively you can post them to: Eimear’s Wish C/o Murray & Co. Wholesale Jewellers & Diamond Merchants 29 Talbot Street Belfast BT1 2LD For more information contact Seán on: 07450678785      

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