Charity partner chosen
We are delighted to announce Rory Gallagher's Wish to Walk as our Partner Charity for 2015.
The charity is raising funds for two year-old Rory from Cliffoney, Sligo to have surgery which will allow him be able to walk.
This is Rory's story as told by his mother Shauna:
My name is Shauna Gallagher, I am from Cliffoney in County Sligo. I have three Children, Kyle 15, Lily 10 and little Rory aged 2.
Baby Rory was born eight weeks premature and had a rough start to life. There were days when we thought we would never get to take him home. I found it especially hard to leave the hospital without him. I found it terrible lonely especially at night time, I kept his photo beside me on my beside locker .My husband Gerard was a huge support to me as where Lily & Kyle. Because he was in intensive care they weren't allowed to visit him and were counting the days until they got to hold him. He got home after 7.5 weeks. We were on a high. Our little family was complete. Kyle had the brother he had wish from since he was 4 years old and Lily was just delighted as she was a ''mini mom'' in her own words. Life was wonderful!
At 8 months old, we were told by a health professional that she thought Rory had brain damage and would need an emergency MRI as he wasn't meeting his milestones. I was completely shocked and very worried at the thoughts of put Rory through this procedure as I felt it was unnecessary, I had been told up to this point that Rory's delays were due to the fact that he was born early but that he would catch up. He had his MRI and we were given the devastating news that our little baby Rory Gallagher had Cerebral Palsy spastic diplegia. We were told that he would most likely be non-verbal and in a wheelchair by the age of three.
Well my whole world fell apart. The baby that I had dreamt about running around the garden in red wellies was gone, the little Rocker that he was going to be had disappeared. Our wee Rory was named after Rory Gallagher the Rock n Blues legend. Kyle asked me to find out the sex of the baby as he so desperately wanted a brother, so when he found out it was indeed a little boy, both himself and Gerard began their campaign to call him Rory Gallagher!! When he was born they placed him on my chest for a few moments, I'll never forget it Gerry said ''WELL'' and I said .....he's ''Rory Gallagher'' !!! Well he jumped about 5 foot high in the air! That day was full of emotion and worry, Our little baby was rushed to the NICU. He was so tiny weighing only 4lb 4oz, he had no finger nails or eye lashes, we watched these grow as the days went by.
It broke my heart to receive his diagnosis at 8 months old, I was very down for a number of months, but with Gerry's support I got back my fight and strength to face the world. I never accepted the notion that he wouldn't talk. Myself, my husband and our two Children never gave up hope. We worked tirelessly with Rory and he does talk, in fact his talking is so good that his speech and language therapist told us in August that she only needs to review him once a year.
Rory is a fun loving little boy. He is full of mischief and devilment, he can crawl and manage to open up the cereal press and make a right mess all over the floor to which he will say “I just have a look.” I love to see him giggling and enjoying the naughtiness.
He is the boss of the house, he decides when Kyle gets to play FIFA, and he tells Lily what to put on the tv!! He is a big fan of Henry the Huggle Monster.
Rory can stand, but can’t walk unaided, he high kneel crawls around the house. He is able to sit up on his own wee bench and is determined to walk, he say ''Mammy you let go I do it'' but unfortunately his little body won’t allow.
When Rory was diagnosed and we were told he would never walk, I didn't accept that either. I spent a lot of time researching online and found a Doctor in the USA, whom is performing surgery on Children with Cerebral Palsy spastic diplegia
I applied to a Dr Park in Missouri, to see if Rory would be suitable for this life changing surgery. I sent off all his health files along with an hour long home video of Rory, as requested by the Hospital.
We received the fantastic news in November of last year that Rory is in fact an ideal candidate for the surgery. We have been guaranteed that Rory will leave the USA walking on crutches, he will be pain free, he won't need further orthopaedic surgeries. He will be in a position to be toilet trained. The Spasticity will be 100 % gone from his little body, he will have flat feet, he will get to wiggle his toes for the first time, he will be able to cycle a bike and live the life he deserves.
The cost of this surgery & after care is 120,000 euro. Rory is the youngest Child from Ireland to have ever been accepted for this surgery, 19 Irish children have had this surgery, and the procedure is 100 % successful.
Rory is down on the list for surgery for the last week in July. We must have the funds together by the 30th June, we are in a race against the clock.
We began our fundraising campaign a few weeks ago. We have raised €41,000 to date. I am appealing to the people of Ireland to please get behind us and help us make little Rory Gallagher's wish to walk come true.
I am now looking forward to the coming year and the joy of watching my baby boy take his first steps. Life sometime take you down a path, it may not be the path you expected, but with all the stresses Rory diagnosis has brought it has also brought a huge amount of love to our home. Myself and Gerry are closer than ever, we are a determined team, family time is now our number one priority!! It’s taught us things about life, about strength and about hope .This year we are more hopeful than ever. I truly believe nothing is impossible and that sometimes you've just got to push on, there is an inner strength within each of us.
Sligo Rovers Chairman Joe Burns said on the announcement: "We are really thrilled to be able to annouce our partnership with Rory Gallagher's Wish to Walk and are delighted to be able to work with them.
"Over the past two years we have worked with MS Therapy Centre and and Friends of Sligo Regional Hospital which has been very successful for all parties. We would like to thank all supporters of Sligo Rovers for their generosity it helping these great causes.
"We hope that by working with Rory Gallagher's Wish to Walk we can help to increase awareness of Rory's cause and help him to get all the support he needs.
"Reading Rory's story it is clear that he is a very brave young man and we would appeal to everyone to help him in his fight to be able to walk.
“Over the coming year Sligo Rovers will assist his family's work, publicise their fundraising events and be present to make as much a difference as we can.”
Here are Rory's Links
Donation link: https://www.youcaring.com/rorygallagherswishtowalk
Text Number has been set up for Rory: Text FEET TO 57802