Eleven-year-old amputee Rosy urges others to join fundraiser

Joe and Beth Ibotson with their children William, Milly, left, and Rosy at home in West Cork. Pic: Denis Minihane

Courageous Rosy Ibotson has overcome more challenges in her 11 years than most of us would face in a lifetime.

The youngster was only 18 months old when she was diagnosed with, and successfully treated for a bladder tumour — and just nine years of age when she was diagnosed with a bone tumour in her left leg.

Over the years Rosy has undergone intensive chemotherapy, enduring long hospital stays and excruciating pain, before finally having her leg amputated in 2012.

The sixth-class schoolgirl from Rossmore in West Cork, who in 2006 lost her older sister Poppy to cancer, suffers from a rare condition, Li Fraumeni Syndrome, which is believed to affect only 400 families in the world and predisposes sufferers to various forms of cancer.

Rosy’s mum Beth is a survivor of breast cancer: “The syndrome comes through my side of the family — my mother died very young of breast cancer. I have been fortunate — I have had breast cancer but it was treated in time and the surgery was successful.”

Next Sunday Rosy, her mum, her dad Joe, and siblings William, 8, and Milly, 6, will participate in a special ‘A Mile in My Shoe’ fundraiser for Our Lady’s Children Hospital Crumlin.

Rosy’s leg was amputated at the hospital in 2012.

The agony she was experiencing prior to the amputation, says her mother, was “indescribable”.

“The pain was very bad, and in 2012 we went to Crumlin Children’s Hospital and the decision was taken to amputate the leg. It was a very difficult time.”

However, Rosy has been back at school since last April in Knockskeagh Primary School, where she is now a sixth class student: “She is very much looking forward to moving on to second-level,” says her mother.

Although Rosy has a prosthetic leg, the brave youngster has found, says Beth, that she can actually move faster without it and is looking forward to the fundraising event.

“We’re hoping to raise money for facilities for sick children in Crumlin — there is just one hospital for children in Ireland and it is in a shocking state. They deserve better facilities to be able to provide the level of care that the children deserve and the staff are so well-equipped to provide — they need better facilities and we hope to raise money towards the cost of improving the hospital environment for the staff and the children.”

Anyone can join in the ‘A Mile In My Shoe’ fundraiser: “The idea is for people to get a taste of the challenges that face Rosy every day to experience a taste of what life is like for her.

“Everyone will try to do one mile on one leg — they can use crutches or brooms or walking sticks or any walking aids to help them balance,” says Beth, adding that fancy dress is welcome.

The event aims to raise money for the Children’s Medical and Research Foundation at Our Lady’s Hospital, Crumlin. The event, which will take place at the GAA grounds, Ahamilla, Clonakilty this Sunday at 2pm will raise funds for the Children’s Medical and Research Foundation in Crumlin.

For more information visit the A Mile in My Shoe Facebook page and follow the link to the cmrf.org site to which donations can be made.


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