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  • Northside West

Teacher on a mission to help pal

Monday, 19th March, 2018 8:00am
Teacher on a mission to help pal

Michael and Mel are hoping he can continue his treatment.

Teacher on a mission to help pal

Michael and Mel are hoping he can continue his treatment.

Adam Daly

A FINGLAS teacher is fundraising for her friend’s medical treatment in Boston after he was given his third cancer diagnosis four months into a dream masters degree at Harvard Law School.

Rachel Dunne, a teacher in Beneavin De La Salle College, is organising a number of events to help Michael Mullen, from Co Kildare.

Michael (26) was first diagnosed with neuroblastoma when he was 16-months-old and given a one in four chance of survival. After chemotherapy, surgery and a bone marrow transplant he was cancer free until the age of 22.

While in his final year at Trinity College, studying Law and Business, Michael was diagnosed with renal cell cancer, which required surgery.

After taking two months off college to recover, Michael still managed to graduate the same year, getting a first class honours, and was awarded a scholarship to Harvard to complete a Masters in Law. 

Four months after moving to Boston with his girlfriend of nine years, Mel, Michael was diagnosed with a rare form of metastasized renal cell cancer.

According to Rachel, Michael was in the right city at the right time as new treatments had just been approved for his cancer and were only available in the US. 

“Michael's doctors have advised him that he needs to remain in the US to continue receiving essential life-saving treatment,” Rachel told Northside People.

“The cost of the treatment and the cost of living in Boston is extremely high.”

Because Michael’s insurance is only covering about 60 per cent of the treatment costs, Rachel is hoping that her two upcoming fundraisers will help.

“We have an event in the Laughter Lounge on April 19, and another one in McGowans in Phibsborough on April 27.

“We would also be very grateful if people could get in touch if they could donate some spot prizes or vouchers for the two upcoming events.”

Rachel says that when she last visited Michael and Mel in Boston it was before he started his new treatment when his tumours were growing rapidly.

“He couldn't move, he couldn't walk, because the tumours were pressing on his spine, whereas now they’re stable and he’s able to get on with day to day life, somewhat.”

Despite his illness, Michael graduated from Harvard Law last year and has volunteered with Harvard’s Disability Project. 

At the moment his spirits are high despite currently being in hospital due to the side effects of his treatments because of all the fundraising back home.

“The treatment he’s on at the minute is going well,” said Rachel.

“There’s no cure for the cancer that he has but it’s stabilising the growth of his tumours, so he’s stable in the middle ground at the minute, which is what you hope for with his type of his kind of cancer.”

If you want to help Michael continue his life saving treatment you can donate at

To find out more about more about the fundraisers email Rachel on


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