The Donegal GAA team and management will host a charity cycle this Sunday, July 19th to raise funds for ten-month old baby Olivia ‘Livie’ Mulhern.
Baby 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 million.
The campaign is a similar one to the 'Do It For Dan' fundraising effort which helped to raise over €3 million for baby Dan Donaher who was also diagnosed with SMA.
Sadly, Dan will be unable to receive treatment after contracting a virus which developed antibodies that would prevent the treatment from being successful.
This Sunday, the Donegal GAA squad will set off from nine different locations in Donegal and aim to all converge on McCumhaill Park, arriving at the same time, after stopping at all 39 football clubs in the county.
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 $2 million. 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”.
On the pitch the Donegal county team is preparing for a return to action ahead of the slow return of competitive games.
On Sunday the Donegal Senior Team and I are doing a charity cycle to raise funds for baby Livie Mulhern. We'll set off from 9 locations and cycle to McCumhaill Park Ballybofey and, between us, we’ll visit all 39 Donegal GAA football clubs. Please donate using the link in my bio. pic.twitter.com/RNnN2ripzr
— Hugh McFadden (@HughMcFadden) July 15, 2020
Donegal are scheduled to take on Tyrone in the Ulster Championship quarter-final on the last weekend in October and while that’s still a long way off, Donegal midfielder Hugh McFadden is happy to be back training with his club and shaking off some of the cobwebs.
"I suppose now we’re back training for our clubs two or three weeks and we’re back in the swing of things but were getting excited over the first few nights, you were kind of like a kid on the first day of school," he said.
"I had my gear ready and I couldn’t wait to get up to our local field.
"It’s funny, the numbers in training have never been as big in rural Ireland. It’s the first time you’ve had everyone at home, people are working from home, colleges aren’t going on, you can’t go away on a J1, so it’s been really enjoyable," he told RTE.
Visit www.gofundme.com/f/teamdonegal4teamlivie to give your support to the #TeamDonegal4Livie campaign.
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