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'A pleasure on and off the field' - Fundraising appeal for young Westmeath GAA man battling cancer

Lee Wallace, 26, is suffering from an extremely rare form of bone cancer.

A FUNDRAISING APPEAL has been launched to help a young Westmeath GAA man who’s battling cancer.

Screen Shot 2019-04-01 at 19.46.58 Lee Wallace and some of his friends at a game in Tipperary. Source: Help Lee Beat Cancer GoFund Me.

Lee Wallace, 26, is suffering from a very rare bone sarcoma in his pelvis and the cancer has now spread to his lungs.

Bone sarcomas are very rare, particularly so in young adults. Lee’s tumour is so rare, it has never been seen by leading specialists in the UK or China. It is a mixture of an Osteosarcoma, a Ewings sarcoma and a spindle cell sarcoma — therefore a definitive diagnosis has not been possible.

Travelling abroad for medical expertise is necessary, and Lee must undergo surgery to amputate the right side of his pelvis and leg. Financial assistance is also needed so Lee can receive a new type of treatment. 

Screen Shot 2019-04-01 at 20.14.22 Lee Wallace after his diagnosis. Source: Help Lee Beat Cancer GoFund Me.

Over €70,000 has been raised on a GoFund Me page since last night, with a target of €250,000 set.

Lee is a St Brigid’s and St Mary’s, Rochfortbridge clubman. A dedicated supporter now, he has played hurling and football in years gone by.

Football-wise, he won U14, U16 and minor honours with St Mary’s, and also lined out for his local school, St Joseph’s, Rochfortbridge.

WhatsApp Image 2019-04-01 at 19.13.50 (3) Celebrating a win with St Brigid's. Source: St Brigid's GAA Facebook.

Predominantly though, Lee played corner back for St Brigid’s, a hurling club in Dalystown, made up of players from Milltownpass, St Marys, Rochfortbridge and Tyrellspass. Their most recent big win — with Lee involved — was the 2011 Westmeath intermediate hurling championship final, in which they beat Clonkill to be promoted to the senior ranks.

“Lee was originally know as The Hitman Wallace in the full-back line,” as his St Brigid’s team-mate Stephen Quinn explained to The42.

“He wasn’t much of a striker of the ball but he was famous for plucking it out of the sky when the sliotar wasn’t even in arms reach. One particular incident, Lee came out clear of five men with the ball and the next strike, put the ball back into danger by sending it behind him. He found this very funny and gave a little giggle!

WhatsApp Image 2019-04-01 at 19.13.50 Lee Wallace celebrating with his team-mates a few years back. Source: St Brigid's GAA Facebook.

“Having said that, Lee ‘Towbar’ Wallace is an absolute pleasure to play alongside on and off the field.

“With all donations — no matter how small — this can contribute to Lee’s battle with cancer. The financial struggle that Lee and his family face at the moment is huge.

“The community and the country can aid and assist Lee and his family get to the right specialist in China or the USA, and get Lee the treatment he needs.”

You can donate, find out more and ‘Help Lee Beat Cancer’ here.

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About the author:

Emma Duffy

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