Strabane family raise nearly £5,000 for charity C.H.I.L.D
A Strabane family have raised £4190 for Community Help in the Local District, or ‘CHILD’, a charity that provides food vouchers, clothes and financial assistance to those in need.
Odhran Logue and Kerrie Wallace have a nine year old daughter, Lisa, who suffers from a rare autoimmune disease and they received help with the cost of travelling to Belfast and Derry to take Lisa to hospital appointments.
Odhran said, “Our daughter Lisa has been diagnosed with a rare illness so we have been up and down to Belfast to appointments and infusions and so on so CHILD helped us a few times. We weren’t expecting the money and we didn’t ask for it - in a way we were a bit embarrassed that we got it but we were so thankful so we wanted to give something back.
“Lisa is nine now, it was around November three years ago she was diagnosed. She started off with a rash on her face, it was like a butterfly rash and we weren’t too sure what it was. They thought it might be eczema but it wasn’t going away. Then about five weeks after that, the disease attacked her muscles and she couldn’t walk or feed herself, she couldn’t get out of bed. She was just lying there and could barely move and we were just wondering what was going on.
“We took her to Altnagelvin and we were lucky enough that we didn’t have to wait too long for a diagnosis. The doctor there worked in Great Ormond Street so she had an idea of what it might have been - it’s such a rare illness so that was lucky. She had to go through all the tests - MRI, muscle function and blood tests and then she was diagnosed with Juvenile Dermatomyositis.
“Over the past three years we have had maybe six good months. I wouldn’t say it has been horrific but it has been really difficult. She is on a lot of medication, some have made her put on weight and she has to go up often for infusions. “The condition itself can attack the organs of the body. It’s an autoimmune condition and it affects one in a million people so she would be one of thee only people in the country who have the disease.
“It’s such a rare illness that a lot of junior doctors were in observing her because they have never had a case of it before. They were all so interested but we didn’t know what was going on.
“She tries to get on with it but we have to be so careful because she is immunosuppressed. She knows she’s sick and she asks why she can’t be like her friends, she’s just sick of being sick and it plays on her. She sometimes looks at pictures of herself before she got sick when she was thin and used to run around the place and she doesn’t even look like the same child now. But we just try our best to get on with things and so many people have been so kind to us, CHILD being one of them so we wanted to do something for them.
“Five of us did the Belfast marathon on October 3 in a relay. Myself and my brothers and my partners bother and sister in law and we raised £4190 overall. I’ve never fundraised before so it shocked me how much people gave. We couldn’t get over how generous the people were. I’m not a runner so I tried to organise it and put my brothers in for it but they dragged me along too and it was great then on the day. My sister in law Natalie did a hamper too and a bonus ball, she raised £400 for that.
“CHILD said themselves that no one has given back to them, they were so thankful that we did it. They have a warehouse where they sell second-hand clothes and that enables them to do what they do but with Covid, they weren’t able to open as much so they said this money will be a godsend and get them through Christmas.”
CHILD is located in The Warehouse, Railway Street Strabane.