Family of Belfast woman Eimear Gooderham (25) share memories and dealing with grief in special UTV programme – Belfast Telegraph

The story of Belfast woman Eimear Gooderham (nee Smyth), who passed away after a brave battle with cancer and sparked awareness of the stem cell register in Northern Ireland, will be told in a UTV programme this week.

imear was diagnosed with Hodgkins Lymphoma, a type of blood cancer, in 2016 aged 22 and underwent a dozen rounds of chemotherapy.

She manage to beat the cancer in the spring of 2017 and was given the all-clear by doctors, only for the disease to return again a few weeks later.

The disease went into remission following an autologous stem cell transplant, which involved using her own cells and high-dose chemotherapy.

In 2018, however, the Hodgkins Lymphoma returned once again and doctors said Eimear required another stem cell transplant, but from an anonymous donor.

This prompted her father Sean to launch a campaign, alongside UTV, to get people to sign the stem cell register and eventually a match was found.

Eimear had surgery, but sadly she passed away in hospital of organ failure on June 27, 2019, after suffering complications.

She had been due to marry her fianc Phillip Gooderham in October 2019, however with her condition worsening the wedding was organised to take place in hospital before she passed away.

UTV presenter Sarah Clarke followed Eimears story from the summer of 2018 and now that story will be told in a special programme, Eimears Wish, airing this Thursday at 10.45pm.

The programme will feature extracts from her video diary and dad Sean and sister Seainin, share memories of Eimear and talk about the positive ways they have been dealing with their grief since she passed away.

Sean Smyth said he hopes the programme will highlight the need for more people in Northern Ireland to join the stem cell donor register, especially men aged between 16 and 30.

There is also a lack of age-appropriate care for teenagers and young adults with life threatening illnesses such as blood cancer, he said.

The current facilities and the environment in which our teenagers and young adults receive their treatment and care is very poor. There also needs to be better facilities for the childrens carers.

Sarah Clarke added: It was Eimears dying wish to raise awareness of stem cell donation and to help further research into the treatment to help others. And although this programme is an entirely different one from the one we set out to make, I hope that it will in some way help to do that.

Belfast Telegraph

Family of Belfast woman Eimear Gooderham (25) share memories and dealing with grief in special UTV programme - Belfast Telegraph

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