THE community in Skibbereen is rallying around a family who are dealing with the tragic news that their beautiful three-year old daughter has an incurable brain tumour.
A coffee morning was held at the West Cork Hotel last Saturday and there was a constant flow of people who turned up to pledge their support for Eva Aniulyte, and her parents Luiza and Mantas Aniuliai.
It is but one of the numerous fundraising events that their family and friends are holding in the coming weeks and months in a bid to raise money to help the family while Eva receives radiation treatment in Dublin.
When Eva’s mother heard that her daughter’s illness – a rare tumour called Intrinsic Pontine Giloma or DIPG – was incurable, she suggested that people stop making donations towards a possible cure, because there is none.
However, her many friends made her realise that the family is going to need a tremendous amount of support – financial and otherwise – in the coming weeks and months and say they are determined to make Eva as comfortable and as happy as possible.
The money raised will help to defray their expenses in Dublin, but it also be used to help the family ‘make memories.’
The condition that Eva has is highly aggressive and difficult to treat.
However, a short course of radiotherapy could help to shrink the tumour and might buy the family a little more time.
A family friend, Alma Karanauskiene, who runs a boutique at Bridge Street, told The Southern Star: ‘Everyone wants to help. They are such a lovely family and the difficulties they are facing are immense – who wouldn’t want to help them in this difficult time?’
Alma has a donation box in her shop and people are welcome to call in at any time. People can also make a direct donation to the following account: BIC: BOFIIE2D; IBAN: IE86BOFI90368072656906.
‘A lot of us have made personal donations to Luiza and Mantas, but there are so many people, including those who don’t know the family, who want to contribute something, however small, if it will help to ease their burden in any way,’ said Alma.
People are coming forward with fundraising ideas all the time. Margaret Donovan Daly and her family, for example, have donated a signed Liverpool Legends jersey, that will be raffled – the tickets for which are available at the reception desk at the West Cork Hotel.
Eva’s teacher, Orly Berkovich, at the Zebra Playschool, is also co-ordinating a fundraising effort through the local national schools.
Meanwhile, a co-worker will be doing the ‘Down and Dirty’ event at Lissard and the money she raises will be go to ‘Eva’s Hope’ – an online fundraising campaign that can be found on Facebook.
Abbeystrewry National School, where Luiza is a member of the parents’ association, also raised money at a non-uniform day on Friday, November 13th, and they are also planning other fundraising events.