The background to this is a very close friend mine died aged 40 and his wife Marie died of VHL related kidney cancer in late 2015. Their children did a fund raiser last year see https://www.facebook.com/
11 years ago Marie Moloney and her son Barry were diagnosed with this devastating disease. The story starts in 2004 when her husband Tony was diagnosed with Brain Cancer. By the end of August 2004 he sadly passed away. During this time Marie displayed symptoms of kidney cancer, however, these symptoms were ignored due to stress from the loss of her husband. One thing that is very important when it comes to VHL is early diagnosis. Unfortunately for Marie it was very far gone by the time she was diagnosed. In December ’05 Marie Moloney had her very first VHL surgery to remove advanced stage bilateral Renal Cell Carcinoma. After a short few months Marie was well on her way to recovery and continued on as an amazing mother and worker in the civil service. In 2011 Marie went in for her second kidney surgery for the recurring nightmare that is Kidney Cancer. This surgery was a tad more complicated as she only had less than a quarter of a kidney remaining after the first surgery. Amazingly, she went on for over a year and a half without the need for dialysis. When she finally did have to start dialysis she struggled at the start like any normal human being would. Of course, Marie was no ordinary woman. After a few short weeks of dialysis Marie was waltzing in and out of that dialysis unit 3 times a week as if it had no effect on her. Anyone who would have met her on the street would have thought she was the healthiest person on the planet. Marie was eternally grateful to her consultant Prof. Lynch who realised she had VHL. If it weren’t for him Marie may not have lived for as long as she did. She wouldn’t have got to see her three sons off to college and two of her sons graduating from college. She would never have seen her own amazing talent as an artist. What happened to her may also have happened to her son. In 2014 Barry was diagnosed with Renal Cell Carcinoma on his right kidney. By July 2015, the tumors had grown quite large and had they not been removed when they were, the cancer would have most certainly spread to other areas of the body.
January 2016, Barry was given the all clear after his kidney surgery in July. However, this disease is truly heart breaking as he knows that no matter how many times he gets the ‘’all clear’’ he’ll be right back in that hospital bed getting ready for another surgery.
“I watched my Mam go through hell for years from this devastating disease. There were times before my surgery that all I wanted to do was run away, but all I had to do was take one look at Mam. I saw how strong she was after all she had gone through and I knew I could get through it too. She battled cancer while raising 3 young boys by herself. This disease may destroy lives, but Mam never let anything stop her from fighting.”
December 4th 2015, Marie Moloney passed away from Von-Hippel Lindau Disease. Months before her passing Marie vowed that she would climb the Queen Maeve Trail up Knocknarea, Strandhill. Her family and friends will, in a way, make that dream of hers come true. The Moloney and Hargadon Families, as well as friends tool part in Strandhill’s 32nd Annual Warrior’s Run.
All the money raised will be donated to the VHL to find a cure for this disease so other children don’t have to lose their parents so soon in their lives.