Over €1m raised to send Laois boy, 1, to US for life-saving treatment

Do it for Dan, the fundraiser on GoFundMe, was launched by his parents, former inter-county footballers Niall and Aisling Donoher.
Over €1m raised to send Laois boy, 1, to US for life-saving treatment
One-year-old Dan Donoher, who is going to America for life-saving treatment, with his parents Niall and Aisling Donoher

More than €1m has been raised to send a little boy to America for life-saving treatment.

The money was raised in just 44 days after a fundraiser was started for Dan Donoher, from Ballybrittas, Co Laois who turned one on March 28, whowas born with a genetic neuromuscular disease called Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA) Type 1 and Scoliosis.

Do it for Dan, the fundraiser on GoFundMe, was launched by his parents, former inter-county footballers Niall and Aisling Donoher.

Dan was diagnosed with this disease last December.

While the life expectancy of an SMA type 1 child is 18-24 months, a ground-breaking treatment called Zolgensma is currently only available in the United States and costs over €2m for a one-off infusion.

So far the family and fundraisers have reached €1,049,380 of their €2m target.

A virtual lip sync battle was held over the weekend and RTÉ broadcaster Evanne Ní Chuilinn, Mayo footballer Aidan O’Shea, TV and radio presenter Kathryn Thomas and Wexford hurling manager Davy Fitzgerald judged the 13 contestants who took part.

Comedian Alan Shortt hosted the virtual event on the dedicated website, doitfordan.live and that event raised €90,000 alone.

The drug can substantially improve quality of life and survival of this horrific disease but is only available to children under the age of two and who meet the requirements.

The little boy qualifies but his parents have said that, “we are against the clock (with time running out),” said Aisling.

“The day he was diagnosed is a day that we will never forget, our whole world came crashing down. Our hearts were broken. Like all parents, you have so many hopes and dreams for your children.

Dan is a funny, bubbly little boy who has such a twinkle in his eye. He is such a happy and brave boy despite all this. We are so proud of him.

“A common cold could end Dan's life. Flu season is life-threatening for Dan. He has already been hospitalised due to this which is a fright we will never forget.

"We seen our child fighting to breathe. Dan doesn’t sleep well as he continuously needs to be turned throughout the night and set into a comfortable position as he is unable to do this himself."

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