A group of friends from Derry are raising money to help a little boy with cerebral palsy walk for the first time.
Two year-old Cobey Devereux, whose grandmother Sharon Devereux Doherty is from Carnhill, and his twin brother, Corey, were born 10 weeks premature in September 2013.
As a result of premature birth, Cobey was diagnosed with a form of cerebral palsy which affects his mobility.
Cobey lives in Cabra in Dublin with parents Jason and Janice, twin brother Corey and sister Abbie.
Derry woman, Amanda O’Neill, is a close friend of Cobey’s family and along with several of her friends she is raising money to help pay for an operation on Cobey’s spine that could help him to walk. The operation is expected to cost more than €200k.
“Cobey and Corey were born just two weeks after my little boy and when Cobey was diagnosed with cerebral palsy it really hit home how precious your child’s health is,” explained Amanda.
The fact that the people of Derry are going to such extremes to help us achieve this dream is just simply overwhelmingJason Devereux
“The form of cerebral palsy Cobey has affects his mobility meaning he will not be able to walk unaided. I’m part of a local running group ‘Rise’ and when Jason [Cobey’s father] told us that Cobey had a chance of walking by receiving treatment in the U.S.A. we automatically began to think about what we could do to help.”
Amanda and her sister, Kitty Harvey, joined Northwest Triathlon Club and their friends, Claire McBride, Yvonne Lennox and Deirdre Torley, who all had only started running the year before, decided they would take on the mighty Walled City Marathon.
“As a group of friends, we are honoured and privileged to be able to help Jason and Janice in their fight to help their son to walk and we are extremely thankful for all the support and donations received to date,” said Amanda.
Amanda said Cobey has a lot of relatives living in Derry and that his family consider the city to be their home away from home.
“Cobey is a very fun-loving, happy, content two year old boy.
“He loves to laugh, make as much mess as he can and have fun with his twin brother Corey. He comes from a very loving family and is adored by his brother Corey, his sister Abbie and his parents Janice and Jason. Jason’s mum, Sharon is originally from the Carnhill area of Derry where her parents still live. Sharon, Jason and the family are regular visitors to Derry and never miss an opportunity to celebrate a family gathering here in the city. Jason and Janice live in the Cabra area of Dublin 7. They have a large number of family and friends in Derry and consider here as their second home,” she said.
Cobey’s father, Jason Devereux, thanked everyone in Derry for their help and support.
“What my family and friends in Derry are doing to help us is beyond belief. The amount of support received from the people in Derry is overwhelming.
“We say thank you all the time but it doesn’t seem enough. We cannot express the massive gratitude we have. If we can get this operation there is a chance our son can walk. As parents we cannot ask for more than that and the fact that the people of Derry are going to such extremes to help us achieve this dream is just simply overwhelming,” he said.
If you would like to sponsor Amanda and her friends visit the Cobey’s Dream To Walk website.