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  • Northside West

A mother’s gratitude

Monday, 22nd April, 2019 8:00am
A mother’s gratitude

Maeve McAuley presents the cheque to staff at Holles Street Maternity Hospital.

A mother’s gratitude

Maeve McAuley presents the cheque to staff at Holles Street Maternity Hospital.

A NORTHSIDE mum who gave birth to triplets despite being diagnosed with cancer has expressed her appreciation to staff at Holles Street Maternity Hospital.

Maeve McAuley from Dublin 15 was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma, a cancer of the lymphatic system, four years before her triplets - Meadow, Madison and Morgan - were born prematurely.

Maeve recently returned to the hospital to present a cheque for €2,789 to the National Maternity Hospital Foundation to say a big ‘thank you’ to staff.

Maeve raised the funds by running her first ever 10-mile road race and organising a 12-hour marathon shopping centre collection.

Maeve was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma, a cancer of the lymphatic system, in June 2009, four years before her triplets were born.

She had been warned that the chemotherapy she needed to attack the cancer could leave her unable to conceive, but much to her delight she did become pregnant.

“By the time I was, it was stage three,” Maeve said.

“However, Hodgkin’s lymphoma is a curable cancer so I was ‘lucky’ in that sense. I ended up having 12 rounds of chemotherapy over six months.

“Before the treatment, the doctors warned me that I might not be able to conceive because of the chemotherapy. So I was delighted when I found out I was pregnant. But when I found out it was triplets I was astounded.

“My miracle babies were born at 25 weeks. Madison was born first weighing 660grams, Meadow was next weighing just under a lb at 440grams and Morgan was born last and was the biggest at 740 grams.

“Meadow was very sick and it was touch and go. Sadly after two days she had a massive pulmonary haemorrhage and passed away. Madison and Morgan ended up spending three and a half months in the neonatal unit. I will be forever grateful to all the staff who worked so hard to save their lives.”

Maeve remembers the worrying days, weeks and years she experienced after the births.

“Those first four years were the busiest time of my whole life,” she recalled.

“Madison was diagnosed with cerebral palsy and needed so much therapy. For the first four years of their lives I felt like I was in a tunnel.

“I was overweight and unfit. I started suffering with anxiety. I would get heart palpitations lying in bed at night. I think it was because I had gone through cancer

“I knew I was at a higher risk of it returning and I wanted to be here for my kids. I remember watching Operation Transformation in 2018 and the leader David Cryan was such an inspiration.

“His daughter Zoe also has cerebral palsy. It struck a chord with me and I thought if he can do it, so can I.”

Maeve turned to local running group, Porterstown Panthers and attended their couch to 5k programme.

“I remember that first night. I remember thinking ‘I am going to die’. I was so unfit that it took me a few extra weeks to actually run 5k without stopping but I got there in the end,” said Maeve.

Maeve explained how running has given her the opportunity to improve her mental health and make new friends. 

“Running with the Porterstown Panthers gave me the chance to meet so many new people and make so many friends. When I said I wanted to run the Trim 10 mile and raise money from the NMH Foundation, everyone got behind me by helping me train for the race and by making donations.

“Many of the Porterstown Panthers volunteered to do the collection at the local shopping centre too.”

Read the digital editions of the Dublin People Northside East, Northside West & Southside here