Home Sport GAA Laois GAA clubs launch fundraisers for little Dan Donoher

Laois GAA clubs launch fundraisers for little Dan Donoher

Two Laois GAA clubs have launched fundraisers in aid of little Dan Donoher.

Park-Ratheniska, both men and women footballers, and Colt-Shanahoe hurlers have launched separate fundraisers.

On Easter Sunday, Park Ratheniska men and women are going to collectively run 300km in one single day.

So far, they have raised almost €3,500 on a Facebook fundraising page. 

A post on their Facebook page explained: “Our adult footballers have decided to run a “300k in a day” challenge in order raise awareness & vital donations for Do It For Dan.

“On Easter Sunday they will collectively run 300km in order to raise funds at a time when fundraising efforts have to be creative.

“Mindful and respectful of the restrictions currently in place we have decided to run 300km on Easter Sunday.

“Each player will map out (within 2km) their own route and will choose to do either a 5km or 10km run.

“They will keep you posted daily with their preparations up until ‘Race Day’ and will post a picture and time of their final run on Easter Sunday.

“Please help out in any way that you can with donations, any donation big or small will help Dan to achieve his goal.”

Meanwhile, Colt-Shanahoe are aiming to run or walk 1,000km.

Colt-Shanahoe PRO Nathan Dunne said: “We at Colt-Shanahoe GAA are running a virtual fundraiser for the Do It For Dan campaign.

“Our goal is as a club to walk/run 1,000km. We hope to reach this goal as soon as possible.

“All our participants need to do is send details of their distance to our page each night.When we achieve this goal we as a club are going to donate money to the campaign.

“Of course there is an option for people to donate through us if they feel like doing so.”

A massive fundraiser was launched for baby Dan Donoher on March 5, son of Niall and Aisling Donoher from Ballybrittas, who has been diagnosed with a rare life-threatening disease.

A GoFundMe page has been set up for the little boy with a genetic neuromuscular disease called Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA) Type 1 and Scoliosis.

A breakthrough treatment is available in the USA and to meet the cost, a target of €2million has been set.

The reaction to the fundraiser has been huge with €562,000 raised so far from more than 17,000 different people.

People are not just raising money but awareness too as people are sharing the GoFundMe page on multiple social media platforms.

Dan’s parents Niall and Aisling (Nee Quigley) are very well known in the Laois GAA community.

Niall represented Laois footballers at all levels until his retirement at the end of the 2018 season while Aisling, originally from Timahoe, played for the Laois ladies team for a long number of years too. The couple live in Jamestown, on the old main Dublin Road near Ballybrittas.

Dan was diagnosed with this disease last December at the age of 8 months.

The life expectancy of an SMA type 1 child is 18-24 months.

A ground breaking treatment called Zolgensma is currently only available in USA and costs 2.1 million dollars for a once off infusion.

Studies show that Zolgensma can substantially improve quality of life and survival of this horrific disease.

This treatment is only available to children under the age of two and who meet the requirements.

Dan currently qualifies but “we are against the clock” his parents explain.

About one in every 11,000 children are diagnosed with SMA. It had been incurable, but with this wonder drug on the market it offers Dan a chance at improved or even a normal life.

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Stradbally native Alan Hartnett is a graduate of Knockbeg College who has worked in the local and national media since 2008. Alan has a BA in Economics, Politics and Law and an MA in Journalism from DCU. His happiest moment was when Jody Dillon scored THAT goal in the Laois senior football final in 2016.