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Fundraising walk to help raise vital funds for Heidi

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WALK FOR HEIDI: Tara Donoghue Laing from Firies, has organised the 'Walk for Heidi' for vital physiotherapy for two-year-old Heidi Patterson. Pictured socially distanced are: Diana Ascenso, Dave, Cailean and Daithi Laing, Tara Donoghue Laing, Romy Birdthistle, Pearl Turner and Siobhan Colborne.

 

By Michelle Crean

Killarney is the planned finish line for a fundraiser which is currently ongoing to help raise funds for a sick little girl.

Photographer Tara Donoghue Laing from Firies, had no option but to cancel a planned March Mother's Day fundraiser for two-year-old Heidi Patterson due to the sudden COVID-19 lockdown.

However, she's since enlisted the help of four others and they're currently walking a total of 1,000km to raise funds to help Heidi, who suffers Cerebral Palsy is partially blind and deaf, get the physiotherapy she needs.

So far, over €2,000 has been raised of the €5,000 goal for the 'Walking 1000km for Heidi' challenge and they're hoping more will be raised.

Those involved include Tara, her husband Dave Laing, Diana Ascenso, Siobhan Colborne and Romy Birdthistle.

"We're walking a combined 1,000kms so it's roughly 200kms each," Tara told the Killarney Advertiser.

"We began on June 1 and we're doing it for 30 days individually. We're going to walk the finish line together in Killarney National Park, somewhere we can meet up and socially distance."

Others, when they heard about the fundraiser, wanted to join, Tara explained, but as there's only five of them she felt with more involved they'd have very little kilometres each to do to get to 1,000.

"They're now doing their own walks and raising funds too. We even have people in Australia, England, Scotland and all over Ireland taking part. We're hoping to raise funds for vital physiotherapy for Heidi. She can't crawl or walk. They're trying to build her muscles up to help her walk eventually. It's heartbreaking, and puts things in perspective. We are walking to raise funds to hopefully help her to walk."

 

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Better late than never Christmas present for St Francis Special School

By Sean Moriarty St Francis Special School received a very late Christmas present this week – a specially adapted bike for the pupils to use. Husband and wife team Ciaran […]

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By Sean Moriarty

St Francis Special School received a very late Christmas present this week – a specially adapted bike for the pupils to use.

Husband and wife team Ciaran and Karen Dwyer, directors of Guerin Engineering and Pumps Ltd in Kilcummin, presented the special adapted bicycle to the staff and pupils at the Beaufort school on Tuesday.

After seeing an online request last December that the school needed the bike, they decided to gift one.

They contacted Glencar Medical, a Dublin-based firm that specialises in the supply of equipment to schools like St Francis, and ordered the bicycle.

However, nothing is straightforward in the current climate, Brexit, COVID and war all contributed to a delay in getting the bike to Ireland. Once it was in Dublin there were further delays in sourcing the special straps that St Francis’ children need to ride the bike safely.

It all came to a happy ending this week when the Dwyers were finally able to present their Christmas present to the school.

“We saw this request and we contacted the school and said we wanted to buy one, they told us where to get one, and we ordered it,” Karen told the Killarney Advertiser.

“We had it paid for by the end of the year but then it took three months to get it into the country. It took more time to import the specialist parts. The costs were increasing but we did not mind at all.”

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Jordan Lee to tell his story to the county’s schools

Paralympian Jordan Lee will share his experiences with schools all over Kerry. The Killarney man has embarked on a countywide tour ‘Jordan’s Drive’ in association with Kelliher’s Garage, a series […]

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Paralympian Jordan Lee will share his experiences with schools all over Kerry.

The Killarney man has embarked on a countywide tour ‘Jordan’s Drive’ in association with Kelliher’s Garage, a series of informal talks on his achievements and how he overcame his disability to reach the top of his chosen sport.

The 21-year-old was born with a foreshortened left arm known as amniotic band syndrome but has enjoyed a successful sports career which included representing Ireland at the Tokyo Olympics last summer.

Now he wants to share his story and inspire other students to follow their dreams.

His tour started last week at Colaiste na Sceilge in Cahersiveen and over the next few weeks, depending on his training schedule, will visit schools in Firies, Milltown, and Killarney.

“Don’t be afraid of people with disabilities or different backgrounds,” he said. “A few years ago there was only typical people in classrooms – you never came across people with disabilities or from various different countries. It is a lot more mixed now. I want to inspire people to treat everyone on the same level.”

‘Jordan’s Drive’ is made possible thanks to his role as a brand ambassador for Kelliher’s Garage, dealer principal, Tim Kelliher explained to the Killarney Advertiser.

“Having got to know Jordan so well over the last couple of years we have come to realise how much of an inspiration he is so we decided to ask him to hop into his Toyota CHR Hybrid and bring his story out into the highways and byways of the Kingdom,” he said.

“Headlined ‘Jordans Drive’ and organised by my marketing team headed by Yvonne McMahon they have travelled to many of the schools around Kerry from Cahersiveen to Beaufort, Killorglin and with other dates planned for Firies and Milltown to name but a few. He has spoken his many words of wisdom to the children who have been in awe of the journey and his achievements, and we at Kelliher’s Garage are delighted and proud to have him as our brand ambassador.”

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