In this article, I talk to Shauna Costello, a Coolock native who is currently trying to raise €50,000 for her Aunt Sinead who is suffering from multiple sclerosis (MS). The money to be raised is so Sinead can travel to Mexico to get vital treatment for chemotherapy and stem cell treatment (HSCT), which is not available in Ireland.

MS is a continuous, immune-mediated disorder which means that the disease causes your immune system to attack the healthy parts of your body that are imperative to a functioning body. As a result, the spinal and brain cords begin to decline.

Sinead will spend one month in Mexico in order to access the clinic to seek this important treatment. As well as this, once Sinead returns from Mexico after hopefully receiving the treatment, she will not be able to work for a year. Shauna and others are therefore not only fundraising for the treatment in Mexico, but also for her aftercare once Sinead returns home.

I could talk further about the campaign and why it is important, but why don’t we hear from Shauna herself: 

“Hi, my name is Shauna Costello, I am a 21-year-old girl from Coolock who is currently studying in the 2nd year of my degree in Community and Youth Development in TUD Blanchardstown Campus. I have a fundraiser in Wigwam (54 Middle Abbey St, North City, Dublin) on the 13th of February in aid of my aunt, Sinead Kirkland, who is currently battling a form of MS.

A few years ago, Sinead was diagnosed with Progressive-Relapsing Multiple Sclerosis (PRMS). A rare form of MS (only 5%), PRMS is characterized by a steadily worsening disease state from the beginning, with acute relapses but no remissions. Sinéad has been extremely brave in dealing with her illness, being a mam and continuing to work. Sinéad is an amazing woman, a great mother to her only daughter Erin and an amazing aunt to me and my three sisters.

As of December 2019, we have raised just over €21,000 for Sinead. However, our goal is to raise €50,000 to pay for the treatment and her aftercare when she returns from Mexico. If my event in Wigwam goes to plan and I sell out the venue, I have the possibility to raise a further €5,000 for her, which is amazing as the fundraiser will hopefully be a night that people will also enjoy!

I’m not doing this alone; I have a team of 6 people raising money for Sinead. Each member of the team has an individual goal of raising €10,000 each. The event in Wigwam is to contribute towards my €10,000 and I have five fantastic DJs on board to help me. The DJs include KAYCEE, KAILY, SARAH MOONEY, GEORGE FEELY & DJ DEECE. These DJs have played internationally and at Irish festivals all over the country- I am over the moon that they are on board to help me. I am hoping that people who enjoy a great night out for an even better cause will help me out and buy some tickets for the event.

It is important that I raise this money for my aunt Sinead because unfortunately, over the last few months, Sinead’s symptoms have not improved. We need to get Sinéad to Mexico to get chemotherapy with stem cell treatment (HSCT). If she doesn’t get this treatment soon, the illness will overtake her body. I want to give my aunt the best chance at having the best life possible for as long as possible.”

Shauna and her family are doing amazing so far but need support.. A lot of us may be able to relate to Shauna by having a loved one in our lives that have gone through a life-threatening illness. If you would like to get involved:

 

  • Here is a link to the Move your Body 4 MS fundraiser on the 13th of February.
  • Here is a link to the GoFundMe online fundraiser to donate.
  • Here is a link to the A Stem of Hope for Sinead campaign on facebook to keep up to date. 

 

 

Photos by George Feely, Kaycee, Dj Deece, Kaily

 

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