'Keep er lit for Kayden', a huge fund raising Truck Show to help raise funds for a Mayobridge child with leukemia was officially launched at the weekend in Camlough.

Kayden McKeown aged just 5 was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL) T Cell in May 2019 just before finishing his first year in P1 at the local Primary school.

The show will take place March 21 2020 in Camlough village and aims to raise funds to help and support Kayden and his family.

Charlie Casey, Chairman, Newry, Mourne and Down Council
Charlie Casey, Chairman, Newry, Mourne and Down Council makes a presentation to Killian McKeown while looking on are Kayden's brothers.

The Leukemia diagnosis was a huge shock to parents Paula and Killian and his two brothers. Doctors in the Royal Victoria hospital Belfast immediately started chemotherapy on little Kayden. Many weeks in and after numerous tests they identified a gene usually only found in adult leukemia, this now meant that they had to start a new drug which is normally only given to adults.

Kayden has two older brothers and his diagnosis has resulted in their family life being turned upside down. 

The news has proven difficult to accept but the family are trying to remain positive and cope day to day uncertain of what their future holds. His parents have had no choice but to put everything on hold as any parents would do. 

The McKeown Family face tough and challenging times ahead. The future for Kayden consists of further rounds of chemotherapy. Depending on how he reacts to treatment he will either be in the Royal Hospital Belfast or home for Christmas, hopefully the latter. 

Inevitably Kayden will face a bone marrow transplant in Bristol or another appropriate Medical Centre in Britain.

Paudy Smith one of the organisers said “We are  organising this Truck Show in the hope of raising much needed funds to help and support Kayden and his family as they face the future and too be by Kayden’s side as he undergoes this vital treatment, whilst also trying to provide as normal a life as they possibly can back home for his two brothers. 

"Killian Mc Keown Kayden’s father is a native of Camlough village and the McKeown family are highly respected throughout the south Armagh area. 

Launching Keep er lit for Kayden
Launching Keep er lit for Kayden

"The Mayobridge community have also been extremely supportive to the family and this is our way of showing our care”.

He continued “We are overwhelmed with the support we’ve received so far. Many Haulage companies, lorry drivers and local businesses have very generously came onboard as  sponsors and we welcome all support.

"The ‘Keep Er Lit for Kayden’ Truck Run which will take place on the 21st of March 2020 is guaranteed to be a fantastic showcase of trucks from the length and breath of the country."

Family Fun Day

The event will ultimately be a Family Fun Day, with live music, kids entertainment and other fun and craic for all to enjoy.

Chairperson Of Newry Mourne & Down Council, Cllr Charlie Casey who attended the launch said “This fund raising effort is for Kayden and his family. Kayden is the son of Killian McKeown from Camloch. Killian, Paula & the family are now much part of the Mayobridge community where they now live and well done to all who have organised this and previous fund raising event. 

"Community care and spirit is still alive and well throughout this Council area.  People continue to come together to help and support those individuals and families facing difficult challenges”.

Anyone wishing to be involved in sponsoring  ‘Keep Er Lit for Kayden’ should contact Paudy Smith at 07763657417 or contact their Facebook page at WWW.FACEBOOK.COM

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