08 Aug 2022

Major fundraiser underway to send brave Donegal teen to US for treatment of aggressive tumour

The rare, life-threatening brain tumour is aggressive and difficult to treat

Rocco McGinley

Rocco McGinley needs to travel to the US for treatment of an aggressive brain tumour

A major fundraiser is underway to bring a Buncrana teenager to the US for treatment for a life-threatening brain tumour.

Rocco McGinley celebrated his fourteenth birthday in August. By late summer he began to present with symptoms including blurred vision, unsteady gait and loss of power. An MRI scan confirmed the worst fears for his parents, Yvonne Hegarty from Rathmullan and Wade McGinley from Buncrana. Their beloved son was diagnosed with a rare, life-threatening brain tumour that is particularly aggressive and difficult to treat. 

Fundraiser organiser Audrey Gallagher said on the gofundme fundraising page: "He's like any other teenage boy. He loves his family, his friends, music and his PS. He's the most funny, loving, gentle and kindest soul and would brighten any room when he enters.

"Since his diagnosis, there has been lots of tears shed, prayers said and many many hours of research carried out.
"The Irish health care system has its limitations due to our country size and population unfortunately. To date Rocco has had fantastic care and support from the staff in Letterkenny University Hospital, Crumlin Children's Hospital, Temple Street and St Luke's Hospital.

"He has received radium, he has been biopsied and has had a shunt inserted all of which have helped to alleviate symptoms and will temporarily regress the tumours growth.

"Rocco has undergone all of these invasive procedures, his treatment to date in his normal brave and courageous manner and without a days complaint, he is an inspiration to us all and such a fighter."

The family feel that all treatment options in Ireland have now been exhausted, and they have looked to the US for further help.
Ms Gallagher said: "There are various clinical trials which have had some success that are specifically designed to treat Rocco's diagnosed tumour. Our aim from this gofundme page is to raise as much funds so that he can have the opportunity of treatment.

"His case has been reviewed by several leading hospitals and he has been accepted for treatment. This will require a significant amount of money."

The fundraising target is €280,000, of which more than €41,000 has already been raised in just over a day since the gofundme page was set up.
"We dearly hope that this page, with your help can raise the capital that's needed for Rocco to get his chance at beating his diagnosis," said Ms Gallagher.

Anyone who wishes to donate can do so at

Eternally grateful. Audrey, Aisling & Marcella

To continue reading this article for FREE,
please kindly register and/or log in.

Registration is absolutely 100% FREE and will help us personalise your experience on our sites. You can also sign up to our carefully curated newsletter(s) to keep up to date with your latest local news!

Register / Login

Buy the e-paper of the Donegal Democrat, Donegal People's Press, Donegal Post and Inish Times here for instant access to Donegal's premier news titles.

Keep up with the latest news from Donegal with our daily newsletter featuring the most important stories of the day delivered to your inbox every evening at 5pm.