The Donegal GAA team and management will host a charity cycle this Sunday, 19th July to raise funds for ten-month old baby Olivia ‘Livie’ Mulhern. Livie was recently diagnosed with a rare and serious genetic neuromuscular condition called Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA) and needs urgent surgery in the US, costing over $2,100,000.
Eoghan Bán Gallagher is one of the players organising the event: “This Sunday, players will set off from nine different locations and cycle to Ballybofey. We’re timing it so we all arrive in McCumhaill Park at roughly the same time. Between us, we plan to visit all 39 Donegal GAA football clubs on the day, meet club members and players, while adhering to “Safe Return” protocols, before getting back on our bikes”. Squad members will be setting off from Ardara, Bundoran, Clonmany, Downings, Falcarragh, Gaoth Dobhair, Glencolmcille, Malin and Pettigo.
Livie’s parents Keith and Karen are working closely with the Donegal GAA on the charity event: “We’re so grateful to the Donegal squad and management, for supporting our daughter.” Keith said. “We desperately need to raise funds for Livie and have been overwhelmed by the support to date. Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA) is caused by a gene deletion that causes deterioration of the nerve cells connecting Livie’s brain and spinal cord to her muscles. There is no cure and Livie has the most severe type, so our best hope is a one-off gene treatment, currently only available in America, which costs over two million dollars. But time is not on our side and Livie is against the clock because this treatment is only available to children under two years old”.
“We are still a long away from raising enough funds to pay for Livie’s treatment”. Keith said. “Once we raise the rest of the funds, we will finally be able to pay for Zolgensma and give our Livie the greatest chance at life. Our dream is to put 2,000,000 candles on Livie’s first birthday cake on the 26th August and get her the treatment she needs.”
To support #TeamDonegal4Livie and the #Love4IrelandLove4Livie campaign visit https://www.gofundme.com/f/teamdonegal4teamlivie