A Newbridge dad will stage a band night next Thursday to raise money for his son’s new wheelchair.
Dylan McLoughlin, 13, has muscular dystrophy, a degenerative condition which is taking away his mobility.
The teenager is in first year of secondary school in Edenderry. He is getting too big for his current wheelchair, on which he is totally reliant. The new wheelchair, which has to be customised for his body type, will help him stand and give him the independence to do simple things such as make a cup of tea.
His dad, Liam Hughes from Piercetown, and mum, Brigid McLoughlin from Carbury, have been told that the customised piece of equipment will cost €17,000.
“The State have put €10,000 towards it, and we have to come up with the rest of it. They just said that the funding wasn’t there, with all the cutbacks,” Liam told the Leinster Leader.
But Dylan’s parents have already suffered an upsetting setback in their fundraising efforts. Brigid’s home was broken into last week by thieves believed to be looking for cash raised for the cause. Fortunately, they left empty handed, as the money had been lodged in the bank, and nothing else in the house was touched.
Meanwhile, Liam has organised a fundraising night which will take place in Swifts of Newbridge on Thursday, November 22, to help meet the cash shortfall for the wheelchair.
Local acts including Kym Kelly from Newbridge, Colm Carroll, Zak Moran, Daniel Brereton, Shane McGrath, Chris Brosnan, The Gypsies, Simon Sweeney, and many more, have agreed to take part for free to help raise money for Dylan.
There will also be a raffle on the night with great prizes on offer. The €6 entry fee, charged between 9pm and 11pm, will go straight towards the wheelchair fund and it also includes entry into the nightclub afterwards.
“Kym Kelly has helped me a lot in putting the night together. Fair play to Damien Gleeson from Swifts, who has been brilliant and Swifts are donating a prize as well towards the raffle,” said Liam. “I’d ask everyone to come out to show their support and the earlier they get in on the night, the better it is for Dylan’s wheelchair fund as well.”
Liam said that they are determined to have the chair by January. Other fundraising efforts included a bagpack in Dunnes Stores in Newbridge last week.
“I’d like to say a massive thank you to Rita and Angela in Dunnes Stores who let us do the bag packing, which was a massive help. And thanks to all the groups who said they would take the time out and play in Swifts for free,” said Liam.
There will also be a collection bucket inside the door at Swifts on the night for those who want to donate but can’t attend the night.
Liam is no stranger to fundraising as he did a sponsored walk to Cork last May in aid of Enable Ireland, whose facility in Naas Dylan has attended since he was a toddler.