News of Robertstown girl Leah’s plight reaches Perth

BIKERS and football fans turned out in force last weekend to raise funds for six-year-old Leah Taaffe, who needs lifesaving cancer treatment in Boston. The little Robertstown girl’s plight even reached Perth, as a former Kildare town native is planning a Princess Leah walk down under. The Taaffe and Kelly families have been blown away by the response to the fundraising drive, which included a bike rally from Robertstown, and a charity football match in Newbridge last Sunday February 17.

BIKERS and football fans turned out in force last weekend to raise funds for six-year-old Leah Taaffe, who needs lifesaving cancer treatment in Boston. The little Robertstown girl’s plight even reached Perth, as a former Kildare town native is planning a Princess Leah walk down under.

The Taaffe and Kelly families have been blown away by the response to the fundraising drive, which included a bike rally from Robertstown, and a charity football match in Newbridge last Sunday February 17.

“The rally went amazing between that and the football match we raised a great sum,” said Leah’s aunt Kym Kelly on Monday. “Special thanks to all of the bikers who travelled from UK, Meath, Galway, Kildare, Wicklow for yesterday’s monumental day. We even had the princess herself in attendance.”

Leah was home for a couple of days, but was due back in on Wednesday and the bikers gave her a special trophy.

Last week Leah got a surprise visit from Olympic boxing champion Katie Taylor when she was in Crumlin hospital.

This week, there are a number of fundraisers planned. Graces in Naas is the venue for a Princess Leah table quiz on Wednesday February 20. A table of four costs €10 and the quiz kicks off at 8pm. In Kildare town, the Silken Thomas is also hosting a quiz night on Friday 22. This will coincide with a fundraiser in Harforshire in the UK.

On Saturday 23, there will be a Princess Leah night in Swifts Newbridge with spot prizes, raffle and much more.

Horse riding enthusiasts are being asked to support a ride out at Ballyteague Stables on Sunday February 24 at 11am. Adults cost €20 and children cost €10.

Also on Sunday, a vintage tractor and car run will leave Cookes, Caragh at 11am. There will be food and music back in Cookes afterwards with live performances by Pyramid and The Druids.

Coill Dubh has also rowed in behind the fundraising. A family fun day has been organised from 2pm to 6pm in Coill Dubh Hall. There will be bouncy castles, appearances from Mickey and Minne Mouse, live DJ, fun and games. Entry is €5.

Perth, Australia is the venue for a Princess Leah walk (2pm their time) organised by Kildare town native, Fiona Archbold who now lives in Perth. There are also other events in the pipeline.

Leah was diagnosed with a rare form of brain cancer last November and the chemotherapy is not having the desired impact. A massive fundraising drive was launched and people from all over the county and further afield pledged their support. There are fears she may not be able to fly because of the location of her tumour, however things are still on track for the treatment in Boston. Leah lives in Robertstown with her mum Sabrina, dad Johnny and brother Jordan (10).

So far, fundraisers have been held all over Kildare. Moorefield GFC held a collection at their dinner dance last Friday February 15 and raised €975. Clogherinkoe held a raffle on Saturday 16 and raised €700. A kiddies disco in Rathangan with a special appearance by Big Brother’s Brian Dowling, raised €440. The total for the biker rally was €4,030.70 and the Newbridge football match was €1200.41.

People can make a donation by logging on to www.idonate.ie/princessleahfund For further information log on to the facebook page Princess Leah Fund or email kymkellymusic@gmail.com If Leah is unable to undergo the treatment, all funds raised will be donated to the children’s cancer unit at Crumlin Hospital.

- Niamh O’Donoghue