With the aim of raising a total of €100,000 to send her to America for a potentially life-changing operation, the family of young Faith Browne from Castletownroche have currently raised an impressive €27,000, with a host of fundraising events planned in the coming weeks and months.
Three-year-old Faith was born premature at 30 weeks with an extensive brain injury and has, as a result, developed a number of conditions that have made life challenging for both her and her family.
Her mother Lisa explained that after birth she was diagnosed with Cystic PVL. “On both sides of her brain she’s got cysts that affect her motor skills, so Faith was in the neonatal for three months. Before she came out of the neonatal we were brought down to give Faith a hearing test. She actually failed her hearing test, which was another complication that she has.”
Faith was diagnosed with a rare hearing loss condition called auditory neuropathy spectrum disorder (ANSD) and wears cochlear implants. “She is starting to communicate with us and she is starting to hear things and say some words, so the cochlear implants worked for Faith. For some children with ANSD it doesn’t work, but we were fortunate that it worked for Faith,” Lisa said.
At 15 months, Faith was diagnosed with spastic cerebral palsy. “Faith cannot sit on her own, she can’t crawl, she can’t stand or she can’t walk. So Faith does an awful lot of physio to keep her muscles from tightening up every day.” She is also being treated for epilepsy.”
Lisa described Faith as ‘the happiest little girl you could ever meet’ and said she is able to cheer up anyone who is in a bad mood. However, Lisa also said it is very hard for her young family to watch Faith grow up without the ability to do things for herself.
Faith’s family are fundraising to bring her to America to have an operation called selective dorsal rhizotomy (SDR), which could one day help Faith to walk.
“People do see Faith smiling but what they don’t see behind closed doors is that our little girl cannot do anything mobile for herself and it’s very hard as a young couple and a young family to be watching that. People do not realise the stress and the strain trying to raise an enormous amount of €100,000 to give our child the best chance of being independent.”
OCTOBER FUNDRAISING EVENTS
A number of fundraising events will be held next month as well as in the months ahead, to help Faith and her family reach their €100,000 target. The next fundraising event is a charity run in Castletownroche, hosted by Freewheelers MC Ireland, on Saturday, October 15th. Entry to the run is €20 per bike, which includes entry to a Rock Night afterwards.
On Saturday, October 29th in Shanballymore, a Tour De Avondhu will take place with 85km, 45km and a family cycle open to the public. Registration for the cycle is from 9am to 10am in the community centre, and the cycle will commence at 10.30am. Entry to the 85km and 45km cycle is €20, the family cycle is €10, with children €5 and €20 for a family.
For more information on Faith and the upcoming fundraising events, as well as details on how to donate, visit www.facebook.com/hopeforfaithcocork and www.gofundme.com/289n7xbs.