Family of Connor McGrath suspends fundraising efforts

Published on February 16, 2016
Connor McGrath
Submitted photo

A sad turn of events has forced the family of a boy battling leukemia to suspend all fundraising efforts linked to an expensive option for cancer treatment.

In a message posted to the “Support for Connor McGrath” Facebook group, the 13-year-old boy’s mother Kim McGrath said the decision was made following a conversation with doctors Monday morning.

The family was hoping chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cell therapy might help the boy, who has not responded well to other treatments at a hospital in Edmonton. Connor’s parents Gerald and Kim are from St. Bride’s and Southeast Placentia respectively.

The boy’s health has deteriorated to the point that CAR T-cell therapy — estimated to cost $800,000 and not covered by government due to its experimental nature — is no longer an option. That prognosis could change if immuno therapy treatment he’s scheduled to undergo this week manages to reduce the disease.

“As much as we have deeply appreciated all the support, effort and love that has been put into this major fund raising campaign, we feel it best to clue up any fund raisers that are on (the) go and not start anything new until we see results from the next treatment,” Kim wrote Monday evening. “If the treatment shows promising results, we will once again ask for your help in raising even more funds.”

As of Monday, over $108,000 was raised. The campaign to help Connor received a boost last Friday when famous Canadian actor Ryan Reynolds posted a photo of himself with the boy on Facebook. Reynolds screened his new superhero movie “Deadpool” for Connor at an Edmonton hospital six weeks in advance of its release this past weekend.


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A website where people could make online donations is now inactive. Kim said if the funds raised are not ultimately needed for CAR T-cell therapy, the money would instead go to charities.

“To everyone on this page, we want to once again say thanks for the support — you'll never know how much it meant to us to have so many people, both friends and strangers, reach out and help our boy.”