UCC vigil to aid Abbey's wish to walk

A fundraiser for Abbey's operation took place at McGillycuddy's Reeks, Killarney, on Saturday, where Santa Claus paid the five-year-old a special visit. Also pictured is her mum Leslieann and sister Elizabeth McGeough. Picture: Valerie O'Sullivan

A candlelight walk through the grounds of UCC will take place tomorrow to raise funds to help a five-year-old’s wish to walk come true.

Abbey McGeough, from Ballyvolane, Cork, was born with hydrocephalus — fluid on the brain — and was later diagnosed with epilepsy and spastic diplegia cerebral palsy which causes severe muscle stiffness.

The Junior Infants pupil at Rathpeacon National School used to be able to walk with the help of a walking frame, but has been confined to a wheelchair since 2012.

Her mother Leslieann embarked on a fundraising campaign last May to raise €100,000 to pay for a surgical procedure in the US. The operation, called a Selective Dorsal Rhizotomy (SDR), will cost €60,000, while an additional €40,000 is needed for pre-operative and post-operative physiotherapy in Ireland.

The operation is not available in Ireland.

Leslieann said that they plan to meet the surgeon in Dublin in March. It is hoped he will carry out the procedure at a children’s hospital in St Louis in Missouri.

A total of 18 Irish children have already had the procedure with great results, she says. “It’s almost a reality,” said Leslieann.

The campaign, entitled “Abbey’s Wish to Walk” has already raised €85,000 and has enabled Leslieann to fund intensive physiotherapy at a clinic in Limerick for her daughter.

She had another three-week long intensive course of physiotherapy in May and otherwise has physiotherapy one day each week.

The walk will begin from the Honan Square at 5.30pm.

* http://exa.mn/1hk www.facebook.com/pages/Abbeys-Wish-to-Walk/163485577155666


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