Please help our little Ella's dream to dance come true
All little Ella Doyle wants to do some day is to dance to her favourite song.
If her dream comes true, the bubbly little three-year-old will be able to walk to school on her own steam - and not in a wheelchair, which is inevitable if she doesn't get surgery.
For now, she must rely on a walker to get around after she was diagnosed with spastic diplegia at six months, a form of cerebral palsy that affects her mobility.
Fortunately, the condition didn't affect her in any other way.
She will spend the rest of her life in a wheelchair unless her parents, Simon Doyle (39) and Nicola Dervan (37), can come up with €150,000 to pay for pioneering neurosurgery at the St Louis Children's Hospital in Missouri.
It's hoped a specialist can reverse the damage to her nerves that causes spasticity while she is still growing.
The procedure by renowned neurosurgeon Dr TS Park is known as Selective Dorsal Rhizotomy (SDR), which has reversed spasticity in thousands of his young patients.
The couple did in-depth research on SDR and met Irish children who also had the procedure, including a boy who had the same condition as Ella but is now playing Under-8s rugby.
Since the couple from Rathfarnham, south Dublin, launched their official 'Ella's Wish to Walk' campaign a fortnight ago, they have been bowled over by the kindness of strangers.
More than €8,000 to date has been raised to help make Ella's wish come true.
"It's incredible. These are strangers coming up to help us," Mr Doyle said.
See www.ellaswishtowalk.ie for information