Caoimhe Forde, a transition-year pupil in Coláiste Treasa secondary school, in Kanturk, has recruited Ireland’s hottest young talents to perform at the variety show in her school hall next month. She is raising funds for Muscular Dystrophy Ireland (MDI).
Cork pop singer, Stephanie Rainey, will perform, along with Dublin band, Wild Youth, singers, Rachel O’Shaughnessy and Riona Sheehan, ‘Banteer’s Got Talent’ winner, Meadhbh Walsh, and a selection of traditional Irish dancers and musicians.
Caoimhe’s brother, Ciarán, died in 2014 from Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD), the most common type of muscular dystrophy, which affects 1-in-3,500 male births.
Symptoms usually appear around ages three to five. They may be unable to run and jump, they can struggle to climb stairs or have difficulty getting up from the floor, and may begin to fall. Between the ages of eight and 11, boys will become unable to walk and will need a wheelchair.
The muscles in the upper body also weaken in the teenage years, and the boys will need assistance with manual tasks and personal care. The muscles needed for breathing also become weaker and the heart can be affected, leading to a considerably shortened lifespan.
Ciarán loved all that Muscular Dystrophy Ireland provided him with: group outings, excursions, youth clubs, activities, and week-long summer respite camps.
“He made great friends and spent time with other young people who had muscular dystrophy,” Caoimhe said. “I decided to organise a fundraising event to raise money for Muscular Dystrophy Ireland’s respite support services. We are seeking as much support, on the night, from the community in Kanturk, as we can get.
“My family and l would really like to thank Coláiste Treasa, and all the businesses and shops in the area, for their support, donations, and goodwill, to date,” Caoimhe said
The variety show, on April 13, will feature an eclectic mix of music, song and dance.
The doors open at 7pm, with curtains up at 7.30pm, with a 20-minute interval, before the show closes at 10.30pm. Tickets, priced at €5, will be available on the door, on the night.
MDI is a voluntary organisation, which provides information and support to people with muscular dystrophy, and other neuromuscular conditions, and their families.
Its services include family support, youth support, emergency respite, youth activities, and a ‘Home from Home’ apartment in Dublin.