Stephen Kirk with his mum Jean Woods

A Big Run for Stevo’s Texas treatment

Last December Jean Woods got news no mother wants to hear. The fear that lurks in the subconscious of all parents became a reality. Her youngest son, Stephen, was diagnosed with a Stage 4 Glioma, a type of tumour that occurs in the brain and spinal cord.

Coming up to his 18th birthday Stephen Kirk felt sick with a pain in his neck. He underwent three operations. Though successful, they only removed 95% of the tumour. The young man now has a permanent shunt in his brain to drain fluid. This affects his sight and balance.

Jean and Stephen were told that Irish medical expertise had taken treatment as far as it could go. After further research and consultation, they found a treatment facility in the US, with a young boy from Donegal among those who have achieved positive results.

There was a damper on this ray of light as the cost of the treatment in Texas is €300,000. Undaunted by this, friends of Jean have set up a GoFundMe page in an effort to help Stephen in his battles against brain cancer.

The Carrickmacross mother is doing everything she can to make the trip across the Atlantic in her efforts to provide the best future she can for her son. To date the fundraising page has gathered €103,997 of the €300,000 goal. The hospital in Texas is offering Stephen a treatment that involves medication and chemotherapy.

One of the many supporters to get behind the fundraising effort is Pamela Chambers. Pamela has been an active fundraiser and Stephen’s story struck a chord with her.

“It really is a heartbreaking situation that Jean and Stephen are in. I have organised a number of fundraisers over the last few years and this year I thought that Stephen’s situation is one that could do with a little assistance,” Pamela told the Celt.

Pamela is organising a Vehicle Run on April 10, 2022, in aid of ‘Stevo’s Journey to Recovery’. The run is a multi-vehicle trek. Trucks, bikes, cars and vintage vehicles of all sorts will take part in the event. Starting at the M Hotel, Kingscourt Road, Carrickmacross with registration at 11am, the fun event starts at 2pm.

Pamela’s commitment to this fundraiser can’t be questioned: “When I started to make the arrangements, I was waiting for an appointment for open heart surgery. I started to set up the run and got a call from the hospital to say there was an appointment available but, because I had started on this, I said we would have to postpone the surgery,” she tells.

Pamela is hoping to raise as much as possible to contribute to Stephen’s fundraising efforts. Everyone is welcome to participate in the Vehicle Run, or if you want to contribute online you can at