“One minute you’re bringing a family member to the Dooradoyle hospital and the next you’re tearing up the road to Dublin for emergency surgery.”
That’s how Rachel Macauley describes the situation her parents were in when it was discovered that her little sister Becky had a turmour on her brain.
When the scan identified the tumour, the nine-year-old from Raheen was whisked away at speed to Beaumont Hospital in Dublin where she underwent emergency surgery and her family got the terrible news that the tumour was cancerous.
“She was a child who was always smiling and friendly and she loved her sports, especially basketball,” her sister Rachel told the Limerick Post.
“She underwent radiotherapy and chemo in Dublin and my parents stayed in the Ronald McDonald house to be with her.
“The speed at which things moved to Dublin was huge and the hospital have a fund to help families in that situation, the Regional Paediatric Patient and Family Support Fund. We are doing the Cook Mini Marathon this year in memory of Becky and to raise money for that fund.”
Despite being ill, Becky herself took part in the Cook Medical Mini Marathon in 2011 and wrote a book about her experiences, ‘The Little Girl with the Big Headache’, which she and her family had published to raise money for the fund and Ronald McDonald House.
Becky passed in August 2012 but the light and happiness she brought to her family and friends will always be remembered, and will be celebrated as they do the mini marathon this year in her memory.
“Myself, our mum and dad, Mary and Mike, and a whole lot of family, friends, and supporters do the marathon every year to remember Becky.
“We all walk together at the start and then some people run. We have a meal afterwards to make a day of it. The first year we took part after she died, there were 72 walkers with us, including children from her primary school class and my class in secondary school. It was amazing and we have had great support every year since”.
Anyone who would like to support the Macauley family as they raise funds for the Regional Paediatric Patient and Family Support Fund can contact Rachel at email@example.com.