Galway hurlers boost for little Mark's dream to walk
AN IRISH family battling to raise €135,000 so their three-year-old son can undergo life-changing surgery in the US received the perfect All-Ireland boost.
Little Mark Dolan, who cannot walk, was thrilled when two of his Galway hurling heroes, Padraic and Cathal Mannion, took time from their Croke Park preparations to wish him well.
The Galway stars, who face Kilkenny in the All-Ireland final on Sunday, play with Ahascragh, the nearest GAA club to where Mark lives with his parents, Kevin and Fidelma.
"It meant so much - we are so close to our fundraising target," Kevin told the Herald.
The Galway stars donated a signed hurley to be auctioned with the funds going to Mark's Wish To Walk Campaign.
Kevin and Fidelma said they are desperate to raise the remaining funds, having mortgaged themselves to the hilt to raise the first €60,000 of the total €135,000 total cost.
Less than €40,000 is now outstanding - and the family hopes to raise that to allow Mark fly to Missouri for his surgery in just two weeks' time.
Mark has been assessed as an ideal candidate for Selective Dorsal Rhizotomy (SDR) at a clinic in St Louis under surgeon Dr T.S. Park.
The clinic has already helped several other Irish children.
"We owe it to Mark to give him every chance of walking like any other child," Kevin said.
You can donate to help Mark using the account: AIB Athlone account number 48349059, sort code 93-22-64.