Fundraising events to be held for little Aoibheann

Aoibheann O'Connor. INNT 39-802CON
Aoibheann O'Connor. INNT 39-802CON

A series of events in aid of Glengormley toddler, Aoibheann O’Connor, will be taking place to raise funds to provide her with treatment.

Aoibheann O’Connor (2) was born at 28 weeks and due to a brain haemorrhage shortly after birth she developed hydrocephalus and cerebral palsy, which affects all her limbs, but more so on her right side.

She is still not able to sit or walk unaided. Within the last year she has also developed epilepsy. Despite her difficulties, Aoibheann is an upbeat and friendly young girl who enjoys books, drawing and going out and about in her pacer.

Speaking to the Times, her mum Aisling O’Connor said: “Recently when I was talking to another mum about cerebral palsy I heard about an alternative therapy called ABR (Advanced Bio-Mechanical Rehabilitation).

“It was founded in 2000 and focuses on a form of deep tissue massage that will improve the functional ability of Aoibheann’s muscles and skeleton, in effect reversing the effect cerebral palsy has on her body.

“It is very labour intensive, requiring us to work on her body using techniques learnt for approximately two to three hours per day. The training is in Scotland and happens at three points within the year. The first of these is in October.”

Aisling added: “It costs £5,300 per year for three people to receive training and get an exercise plan tailor made for Aoibheann. It is also £300 for an initial assessment of the effect cerebral palsy is having on her body in order to set a benchmark upon which all progress can be measured. There is also travel and accommodation to consider for three adults and a child three times a year.

“We are working with Just4children and our fundraising target is £22,500. This will fund three years of therapy and training. We are doing a variety of fundraising things in Newtownabbey, Antrim, north Belfast and east Belfast.”

A fundraising tombola will be held in the foyer of Tesco, Newtownabbey this Saturday (September 24). The event will run from 10am until 6pm. All donations will be greatly received.

For more information or to make a donation, check out the Aoibheann’s Fight for Freedom Facebook page.