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First anniversary Family mark 'difficult' year since death of brave Dublin teen Robyn Smyth

Twenty five biodegradable balloons were released into the sky in Ellenfield Park in Whitehall where a tree has become a decorated celebration of her life.

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Robyn Smyth (15), who had a rare form of cancer, died in April 2020

Robyn Smyth (15), who had a rare form of cancer, died in April 2020

Robyn Smyth (15), who had a rare form of cancer, died in April 2020

A celebration of life took place over the weekend to mark a year since the passing of a teenager who captured the heart of the nation during a brave 12 year fight against cancer.

Fifteen-year-old Robyn Smyth lived the majority of her short life with neuroblastoma and battled with steely determination against the disease.

From Whitehall in Dublin, the plucky teenager was diagnosed with the disease when she was three-years-old on September 10, 2007 but the third year secondary school student passed away at 7.15am on April 23, 2020 surrounded by her family at home.

Despite living her first year without her beloved Robyn and through the Covid-19 pandemic, Bernadette and her surviving daughter Millie are slowly learning to adapt to life without her.

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A tree in Ellenfield Park in Whitehall  has become a decorated celebration of Robyn's life

A tree in Ellenfield Park in Whitehall has become a decorated celebration of Robyn's life

A tree in Ellenfield Park in Whitehall has become a decorated celebration of Robyn's life

Twenty five biodegradable balloons were released into the sky on Friday evening in Ellenfield Park in Whitehall where a tree has become a decorated celebration of her life.

At 8pm on Friday candles were lit around Dublin and the country in remembrance of Robyn.

Bernadette said: “We are all so thankful for the time we had with Robyn and for the support of my family and friends. Even with the weather so lovely I feel that she made sure it would be like this for us to help with her year anniversary.

“It’s been and will always be difficult without her. There have been so many firsts of life events without her.

“So many people always hold her dear to their hearts and the fundraising efforts to send her abroad for treatment will never be forgotten by us. I will always do my best to help other children living with this type of cancer.”

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Twenty five biodegradable balloons were released into the sky on Friday evening

Twenty five biodegradable balloons were released into the sky on Friday evening

Twenty five biodegradable balloons were released into the sky on Friday evening

She was by her young daughter’s side every second of her treatment journey willing her to have more time with her family and friends.

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When the Dublin girl’s chances of survival dropped to five per cent, five years ago and was told by Irish doctors to bring her home to die, her family decided to fundraise to take her to the US for the first time.

At the time Robyn first became ill, she was treated in several Dublin hospitals and at medical facilities in the US including, Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital in Michigan and Sloane Kettering in New York, thanks largely to her relatives, friends and public donations which raised more than one million euro.

The pair and close friend Martina Burrowes made more than 100 return trips to the US during the cancer battle.

Ms Burrowes said that Robyn will always have a special place in people’s hearts and that her memory will always be held dear.

“She was a very special young girl and she may have been with us for such a short time but she has left an indelible mark that we will all hold dear,” she added.

It had been hoped that Robyn would travel to Germany for further ground breaking treatment prior to her passing away.

A cherry blossom tree was planted last August on the eve of her 16th birthday in a nearby park where she used to play outside her grandfather Tom Dornan’s home.

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