FRIENDS have rallied to support a Dublin family of four after both parents were struck down with life-threatening illnesses.
Jason and Gabrielle McGovern, parents to Oscar, welcomed their second son Scott last March – but he was taken to ICU after the birth as medics were worried about his lung function.
The family waited nervously, but within a few months thankfully Scott was thriving. However Jason, an IT manager from Fairview, began feeling unwell and underwent hospital tests.
After an agonising wait he was diagnosed with non-alcohol related Stage 2 liver disease, though he continued to work while receiving treatment.
But the family suffered another blow when Gabrielle began to feel ill. Tests and hospital visits revealed an 8cm cancerous lump.
Jason told Dublin Gazette dublingazette.com: “Gabrielle is in and out of hospital every second day for tests. Mainly she is resting; I’m juggling a full-time job, looking after the kids and trying to fix my own health problems.
“The pandemic has made it that bit harder and lonelier – it’s the one time we need support from friends and family.”
Recalling his wife’s diagnosis he said: “We had a lovely Christmas and all was well, at least that’s what we thought anyway.
“They sat us both down and said they found a very large lump and tests confirmed it was cancer. The ground could have swallowed me at that point, having only lost her mother and aunts to it three years ago.
“So that’s where we are now, Gabrielle is in and out of hospital. All we can do is push on and hope for the best.”
Jason’s work colleague Gavin Coone, from Raheny, has set up a GoFundMe page and is organising a gaming challenge in support of the family.
He said: “This has been a year of hell for this young family, facing one health drama after another. It has been a year of nightmares.
“I play video games, it’s quite tiring, mentally and physically, but as I can’t go out of my 5k area, I decided to do this, as gamers challenge me and vice versa online.”
Gavin will take a 24-hour livestream gaming challenge on March 12 in aid of the McGovern family. Funds raised will go towards childcare and medical expenses and “lay the foundation of the future for their two little sons”.
See twitch.tv/mrloneiq_ttv for details of the gaming livestream. To donate visit www.gofundme.com/f/help-gabriel-jason-fight-against-illness.