Fundraiser for brave teen’s cancer battle

by Kim O Leary
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By Kim O’Leary

A fundraising campaign has been launched to help support a brave teenager from Portmarnock as he battles cancer for the second time.

Alex McEleney, 14, is facing a second round of treatment against cancer after initially being diagnosed with leukemia in 2017.

His mum Louisa explained that Alex was just 11 years old when he was diagnosed with leukemia for the first time.

She told Dublin Gazette: “In June 2017 Alex was diagnosed with leukemia for the first time. He was a keen footballer but we had noticed some bruises on his legs.

“We went on holiday to Spain but the bruises still hadn’t cleared up so he had blood tests done and it was leukemia.”

Alex had aggressive treatment for nine months which included chemotherapy, and for three and a half years he had maintenance treatment.  

On October 27, 2020, Alex finished his last course of chemotherapy and rang the bell at Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital in Crumlin.

After his cancer went into remission, Alex took up cycling and he was doing well in his online school lessons during the Covid-19 lockdown.

However, in February 2021 he showed his mum a skin rash that he had developed. After undergoing blood tests, on Friday 19 February Alex and his family received the devastating news that his cancer was back.

“It was a shock in the gut to hear that it had come back. Alex is broken hearted but he is also extremely positive and strong, he said wants to write a book about how he’s beaten cancer twice and he wants to win the Tour de France,” said Louisa.

Now Alex’s doctors are planning for him to undergo a bone marrow operation next month which would be carried out in Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital in Crumlin and possibly a Car T-Cell in Manchester.

Meanwhile, brave Alex was also recently contacted on Instagram by former England ex-professional footballer Joe Thompson, who himself battled cancer twice. His mother Louisa said that Alex was “absolutely delighted” to talk to him about everything he has been through in his cancer battle.

One of Louisa’s closest friends has set up a fundraiser for Alex to cover any expenses should he need to travel to Manchester for treatment.

The fundraiser has seen an amazing outpouring of support from the general public, and at the time of writing had already raised €17,000.

To donate to Alex’s appeal, visit GoFundMe Fundraiser for Louisa Mceleney by Lisa Smyth : Supporting Alex’s journey to Wellness (

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