Merryn laid to rest with Granny Paula after losing brave battle

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Little Merryn Lacy was laid to rest in Altnagelvin cemetery on Saturday after a service in Kilfennan Presbyterian Church.

She lost her battle with cancer, aged just seven-years-old, on Wednesday, May 4.

She now rests with her grandmother Paula.

Following the service her family posted a poignant message on her Facebook page.

“The days get harder, but the love and support everyone showed today was something we’ll never forget. Merryn will have felt the love today. We know we did! We hope we did her proud. Love you forever Merryn.”

Mum Jenny (née Robinson) - originally from Kilfennan - regularly brought Merryn home to visit her Londonderry family, who were tireless fundraisers in support of treatment to eradicate traces of Neuroblastoma from her bone marrow.

In 2014 Jenny’s aunt and uncle Natalie and Graham Cummings organised a cycle from Londonderry to Dunfanaghy for Merryn, which was supported by dozens of Merryn’s friends, families and supporters. Merryn loved playing with her dolls, dressing up as a princess, dancing to music wearing pink, painting, colouring, drawing and making stuff. She was excited about school and learning, adored life but tragically bore a cross no young child should have to carry.

But despite the cruel disease she lived with, Merryn had an amazing spirit.

Speaking to the Sentinel in 2014 her father Michael said she was a force of nature.

“All kids are different. But it’s strange with Merryn because she has so much energy. She’s the one that drags as all out of bed. We were told after her treatment that she really shouldn’t be as well as she is,” said Michael.

Last Wednesday, posting that Merryn had sadly lost her brave battle, her family stated: “Goodbye our sweet little princess. This afternoon your little body had enough and you departed this world. No more pain. You leave us with so many happy memories.

“Our lives aren’t just measured in years. They’re measured in the lives of people we touch around us.”

Merryn was diagnosed with Stage 4 Neuroblastoma - an aggressive childhood cancer of the nervous system, in August 2013.

The disease can be beaten, but due to its high rate of relapse (70 per cent), it is often fatal. Sadly, despite bravely fighting the disease for almost half of her too-short life Merryn finally succumbed to it last week.

During that life Merryn proved an inspiration right across the island. Two years ago she appeared with her mother Jenny and father Michael on TV3’s breakfast show, Ireland AM, to help raise awareness about the plight of Neuroblastoma sufferers.

Boxer Katie Taylor was among those to lend support to the Lacy family, having donated her Olympic torch to help fundraise for her treatment.