Tuesday 20 August 2019

Fundraiser for Hickey boys

Ned Hickey, Sinead Hickey, Michael Hickey and Noeleen Ennis Hickey.
Ned Hickey, Sinead Hickey, Michael Hickey and Noeleen Ennis Hickey.

By Esther Hayden

There has been an outpouring of support and money for two children suffering from Cerebral Palsy.

Michael and Ned Hickey are the grandsons of Noeleen Ennis Hickey from Rosslare and both boys suffer from two different types of Cerebral Palsy. In June their parents, Mark and Sinead, set up the Sundance Kids Foundation to help raise €120,000 to fund some life changing treatment for the boys.

Michael (3) has Spastic Quadriplegia and is learning to walk with an assistive walker at the moment but the aim is for him to go to St Louis in the US to have SDR (Selective Dorsal Rhizotomy), a pioneering spinal procedure. This will hopefully enable Michael to walk unaided and reduce the pain caused by the spasticity in his legs.

The money raised by the foundation will go towards the surgery, therapy and equipment needed afterwards. The procedure has already helped to improve the lives of hundreds of children and give them the prospect of a more independent future.

Ned (2) has Periventricular Leukomalacia (PVL), the full impact of Ned's condition is still undetermined as formal diagnosis is not given until he is 2 years old, but both boys are attending rigorous physiotherapy, aqua therapy and cognitive therapy with the aim of relieving their symptoms and reaching their full potential.

Already a whopping €70,000 has been raised during various fundraisers for the boys and on August 19 there will be a fun quiz night in the Lighthouse Bar in Carne. The quizmaster on the night will be Willie Ennis and Mick Healy who are known for their great quiz nights. There will also be a raffle for some great prizes on the night.

Noeleen's son in law Paul Griffen is running the Dublin City Marathon later with year to raise fund and other fundraisers have included iron man challenges, the Dublin Fire Brigade did a collection and an auction for a helicopter flight over Dublin. This was purchased anonymously and then donated to the Hickey boys as a much needed family treat which went down a storm with them.

'One very special little boy called Jacob who is 5 and has had SDR surgery is doing a triathlon for the boys', said Noeleen adding people have been very kind.

'We are overwhelmed by the kindness and generosity of people. The good news too is that Ned has been accepted for assessment in the US also. It was Michael's third birthday last week and Ned turned two last Saturday so all in all we are very positive that we will have the boys in the US by the end of the year which is the planned time for Michael's surgery.'

Noeleen said both boys are so full of joy.

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