By John O’Mahony
Irish Examiner
Saturday, February 25, 2012

The family of a former Kerry GAA star who was told by doctors he had just months to live are desperately trying to raise funds to help pay for potentially life-saving surgery in Britain.

Paul Curran, 44, who has played for Kerry at all grades, was stunned last year when he was diagnosed with colon cancer, which rapidly spread to his liver.

Doctors told him his condition was inoperable and he was devastated when they gave him just 18-22 months to live.

He was advised to return home to Valentia Island and spend the remaining months of his life with wife Karen and their three children, Sara, 17, Clodagh, 13, and Caoimhe, 11.

However, Paul has been offered an opportunity to undergo what could be a life-saving liver resection operation in the Royal Marsden Hospital in London, where experts say they can treat him in April.

“The surgeon in the UK is absolutely confident that Paul can be operated on to save his life,” said Karen.

“We have three young children and I wanted peace of mind that I did everything in my power. I don’t want my girls coming back to me in two or three or 10 years’ time saying ‘Mum, why didn’t you do anything else? Why didn’t you look abroad?’.”

Karen said their three daughters have been receiving counselling since learning that their dad is terminally ill.

Paul is undergoing chemotherapy at Kerry General Hospital to prepare him for the surgery in London, which will cost about €80,000.

Family and friends have set up a special trust fund to help offset the costs involved and have appealed to the public to be as generous as possible.

A series of fundraising events will be held in the coming weeks to generate funds to offset the costs of his treatment and travelling expenses.

His cousin Noel Curran will cycle all of Munster over two days in a bid to raise cash and awareness.

An outstanding Gaelic footballer, Paul was a powerhouse midfielder and one of the stars of the Kerry team that reached the All-Ireland U21 final in 1991 before lining out with the senior team for the 1992 league play-off against Meath. He also lived for a number of years in Dublin where he inspired Ballyboden/St Enda’s to a county title success in 1995.