Please Support Run Anon running Coach Aidan O'Neill
In February 2022 our running Coach Aidan O'Neill received the devastating news that he had pancreatic cancer and it was inoperable. This was a shock as Aidan is really fit, having completed the 100-mile running challenge in October 2021, even coming second. He doesn't smoke or drink and had no symptoms apart from a sore back and an upset stomach for a few weeks, so it was a great shock to Aidan, his family and his friends to receive such life-altering news.
Aidan was told he would be given chemo in the hope of shrinking his tumour to prolong his life. He underwent twelve rounds of the most grueling chemo you can get Folfirinox, over a seven month period. During this time, Aidan, the head coach at Run-Anon in Crumlin, only missed one coaching session due to being hospitalised with treatment. He completes Parkrun and even made it to his 250th Parkrun while still having his chemo bottle attached, despite the horrendous side effects.
After seven months we received the news that Aidan had responded exceptionally well to the chemo reducing his tumour from 4cm to barely being able to be seen on the scans. However, chemo is not a cure for pancreatic cancer. The only cure is an operation, and as it stands, Aidan is still inoperable.
We have sought expert help privately, after speaking to someone who was inoperable and then became operable through the use of SABR treatment. This help was with Dr James Good at Genesis Care. Dr Good brought Aidan's case to a pancreatic specialist team in Oxford who concluded that Aidan might be eligible for an operation called the Apple-By procedure if he has a further response to treatment through the form of specialist radiation treatment SABR.
SABR is the latest evidence based radiation treatment with the best outcomes for pancreatic cancer. It is not currently available in Northern Ireland. At worst having this treatment will prolong Aidans life further, helping him live longer than traditional treatment and at a better quality than any other treatment currently available for pancreatic cancer. At best it could potentially make Aidan operable and save his life. This page is raising funds to pay for the treatment.
Aidan has raised funds for charities for over thirty years, including over £30k in the last seven years for charities with the support of the running club. He dresses up as Easter Bunny and Santa every year and helps members of the local community get healthy and fit through couch to 5ks, 10ks, half marathons and even marathons. Aidan has gave so much to the community over the years, and he was the Winner of Sunday Life, Spirit of Sport Award 2022 and a finalist in the Sport NI Community Coach Award 2022.
His fighting spirit and determination was recognised by his cancer nurses who featured him on the BBC documentary 'Nurses'.
Determined not to be stopped Aidan ran the Dublin marathon in October this year albeit at a slower time than usual, but much to the Doctors amazement and astonishment. They think he would be a great candidate for surgery if he became operable.
We know times are hard for people and would really appreciate it if you could spare a few pounds to fund this treatment to give Aidan the best possible chance to beat the awful disease that is pancreatic cancer. It would be really, really appreciated. Please give Aidan a fighting chance.