The parents of an eight-year old boy who appealed for help in showing him the world before he goes blind have been offered a free holiday of a lifetime.
Carol and Kevin Haslam, from Ratoath, Co Meath, have been left “stunned” by a huge outpouring of public generosity since the Irish Examiner broke the story on Wednesday about their son Daniel, who has been diagnosed with optical atrophy.
Since then, donations to their fundraising page have spiralled from €3,000 to almost €19,000, from people wanting to help Daniel see global landmarks before he loses his sight within six years.
Laois man Gary O’Keefe has offered to pay for a trip of a lifetime for Daniel and his family.
Gary, who offered the prize after hearing Carol on Today FM, lost an eye in a farming accident when he was 16. He refused to let his partial sight loss affect his life, and has travelled to 54 countries. He has already given “inspirational advice” to Carol and her family.
She told the Irish Examiner: “I rang him to say that I didn’t know what to say — thank you just doesn’t seem enough. He said that he was in a position to be able to afford to do this and it’s what he wanted to do.
“Gary has a really inspirational and positive outlook and I know he’ll be of huge support to Daniel as time goes on. We’re going to meet him this weekend to talk about trip possibilities.”
Carol has told of being humbled by the public generosity, including two donations of €2,500 each as well as one visually impaired man who donated all he had left in his bank account to Daniel.
Vincent Stack posted on the GoFundme page: “Sorry that’s all that’s left in my account. Lost my own sight 12 years ago and looking back now, there is lots more I’d like to be able to see. It’s not all bad, life’s still good.”
Daniel found out less than a month ago of his condition after Carol probed tests to discover why his prescriptions for glasses were getting progressively stronger.
Friends decided to organise a fundraising page after Carol and Kevin created a bucket list of sites that Daniel wanted to see before he went blind.
The family are hoping to take their first trip for next month.
Donations can be made to gofundme.com/dansadventures
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