Placentia rallies around boy

Twelve-year-old diagnosed with cancer for second time

Andrew Robinson
Published on June 15, 2015
Twelve-year-old Connor McGrath is in the midst of his second battle with cancer.
Submitted photo

A heartbreaking turn of events for a family from the Placentia area has inspired local residents to find ways to help out.

Connor McGrath, 12, was diagnosed with leukemia in July 2013. He was eventually considered cancer free, but doctors identified a recurrence late last month.

His family lives in Edmonton, and Connor will have to spend three months in a Calgary hospital to undergo treatment.

"It's costly for someone to stay there with the hotels and everything else," Mattie Foley told The Compass.

Foley is among those back home in the Placentia area finding ways to help Connor's family. Foley's sister is a close friend of Connor's mother, and understanding how difficult the family's situation is, Foley decided to collect pledges for a run he'll make in the boy's honour.

"I decided to just get on board and see what I can do."

On June 21, Foley will run 42 kilometres from Whitbourne to Dunville. That same day, a charity game of bingo will be held at the Freshwater Community Centre to aid Connor's family. That event starts at 2 p.m. A 50-50-ticket draw will also be held.

Foley works at the local Sobeys supermarket and has received a lot of support from co-workers and other people in the community. Last fall, he helped organize a walk to aid Derm Mooney, a work colleague who was battling cancer. That endeavor raised over $20,000.

After only a few days collecting pledges for Connor, Foley managed to pass the $1,000 mark.

An online campaign to help Connor was also launched at As of last Friday, over $12,500 was raised, with a goal of $15,000 well within reach.


This story was edited from an earlier version to correct the boy's age.