A massive crowd gathered on Friday September 11th in longstanding family pub The Vintage, Irishtown, to raise funds for cancer research and show support for local man Christopher Byrne, who is currently battling brain cancer.
Just four weeks after the arrival of his son Harry, Ringsend local Chris unexpectedly collapsed and was rushed to hospital. He underwent surgery to remove a brain tumour last December and after months of intense physiotherapy and a series of gruelling treatments, there was hope he had beaten the cancer first-time. However, earlier this summer, there was some devastating news delivered that another and more aggressive brain tumour had appeared.
With unfailing support and love from his friends, family and devoted wife Caroline, he is once again fighting this illness. The goal of the evening was to increase awareness of this serious condition and fundraise for cancer research as part of a concerted effort to find a cure for Chris.
Despite the pouring rain, the larger than anticipated crowd packed into The Vintage pub for a (surprisingly competitive!) pub-quiz followed by a lively performance from the Stonecutters band.
A talented and enthusiastic singer himself, Chris was delighted the night was filled with music, laughter and dancing, and was completely overwhelmed by the collective support from his local area. With standing room only inside, there was a delicious buffet, courtesy of The Vintage pub, set up in the patio with pulled pork sandwiches, cocktail sausages and all the other good greasy stuff!
A community page on Facebook, Cure for Chris, has been set up, and with thousands of likes, it is continuing to provide a forum for his supporters to demonstrate they are behind Chris all the way on this difficult journey.
The page boasts an impressive series of photos and video messages from sporting legends such as Johnny Wilkinson, Paul O’Connell and Tommy Bowe sending words of encouragement and support to Chris and his family and friends, telling them to “stay strong” and “keep fighting”.
Chris is taking a break from his treatment for the month of September to spend some time at home with his wife and son, before tackling another six months of intensive chemotherapy. The entire community came out in force to show their love and support and no doubt there will be more events to come as the man himself is never one to pass up the opportunity for a party!
By Caoimhe Fox