A HUGE fundraising drive has started around the county to help raise €60,000 to send little Katie Lonergan to America for ground breaking medical treatment.
Hurler Noel Hickey was at the GAA complex in Piltown on Wednesday evening to launch the fundraising raffle.
Katie from Owning, Piltown is a surviving twin who was born 15 weeks premature. After her twin Conor passed away, Katie fought a long hard battle to survive.
She was diagnosed as profoundly deaf on discharge from hospital and received a cochlear implant in September 2011.
At 18 months Katie was officially diagnosed as having cerebral palsy and her family were advised that Katie would never walk.
The new treatment in the States. Selective Dorsal Rhizotomy involves sectioning (cutting) some of the sensory nerve fibres that come from the muscles and enter the spinal cord. In November the Lonergan family got the news we were hoping for when Katie was accepted as an excellent candidate for the surgery in Missouri.
A committee was formed and to date trojan work has been done to ensure that Katie’s wish comes true. The local schools have been very supportive and a Zumbathon is arranged for February 9 at the Piltown Community Centre. Monies raised from the raffle will also be lodged to Katie’s Wish to Walk. A benefit night, which will also include the raffle will take place on March 8. Several locals have also signed up to run the Viking Marathon on June 29.
Katie’s mum Aisling is delighted with the response to date. “Katie started pre-school last week. It is a massive step for both Katie and me. We have never really been separated before. The first day Katie was brilliant and took it all in her stride. The second day was bit different.
“She reckoned she had ‘been there done that and dont want to do it again’. But she stayed and had a ball,” she said.
Katie was also fitted for a power chair (wheelchair) to enable her to attend pre school.
“That was very hard for us but we still hope that the use the chair will get will decrease everyday. We are aiming for the stars,” her mum said.
To donate lodge to account name: Katie’s Wish To Walk, account number: 19529465, Sort Code: 90-59-69, IBAN: IE76BOFI90596919529465 BIC: BOFI IE 2D.
The account is in the Bank of Ireland in Carrick on Suir. If donating by cheque, please make them payable to Katie’s Wish to Walk.