Ciara Micks is raising funds for life-saving treatment in Barcelona. Picture: Cian Reinhardt/ilovelimerick

Ciara Micks is raising funds for life-saving treatment in Barcelona. Picture: Cian Reinhardt/ilovelimerick

MOST RECENT UPDATE: Ciara Micks and her Mum Anne are finally able to return home to Limerick after 6 weeks in Barcelona for her life-saving Neurosurgery. Ciara was operated at her skull, neck, ribs and lumbar spine. They won’t know how successful the operation has been for at least another few months, but early signs are positive. She still has a long road of recovery ahead of her, up to a year and won’t be able to lift anything larger than 2kg for 3 months. “We are delighted to be finally coming home. We had a fantastic surgical team in Barcelona who looked after Ciara with great care. But you need your family and friends around you for additional support”, said Anne.

Ciara with her doctors in Barcelona, Dr. Gilete and Dr. Oliver when they were saying goodbye.

UPDATE: Ciara’s surgery is now booked for Thursday, March 8. Ciara and her mother, Anne will travel to Barcelona in two weeks and the hospital must be paid a week prior to Ciara’s surgery. The intention had been for Ciara to attend as an outpatient for pre-op tests which is normal procedure. However, due to her complex history and bleeding disorder, the surgical team have decided that Ciara should be admitted to hospital as soon she arrives in Spain. Unfortunately, this will also increase costs. Ciara and Anne are incredibly grateful for the response they have received as every euro counts and are confident that they will get there with the support of their community.

Fundraising efforts for Ciara’s surgery continue to go ahead. Tesco in Roxboro has dedicated one of their community pots to Ciara.  There are also collection points at Widdess Pharmacy, Bella Italia, Irwin Jewellers, La Cucina and Snack Shack in Ennis. If you would like to donate to Ciara’s EDS surgery fund, you can visit www.gofundme.com/ciaraeds.

Support 16-year-old Limerick girl Ciara Micks Fight for Life

by Cian Reinhardt

Sixteen-year-old Ciara Micks hopes to raise more than €100,000 for a surgery in Barcelona that could save her life.

Rheumatologist Brian Mulcahy in Cork diagnosed Ciara with Ehlers Danlos Syndrome (EDS) in 2015, but since being diagnosed her condition has deteriorated dramatically. Due to a lack of expertise in Ireland, Ciara and her mother Anne were forced to travel to London, as are most EDS patients.

EDS is a condition affecting the connective tissues in the body, which provide support in the skin, tendons, ligaments, blood vessels, internal organs, and bones.

Although more than 600 people nationally, with approximately 40 in Limerick, have been diagnosed with EDS, it is still under-researched in the country, and both Anne and Ciara believe many people go undiagnosed because of the lack of knowledge.

Richard Lynch with Anne and Ciara Micks. Picture: Cian Reinhardt/ilovelimerick

Anne Micks is also the Chairperson of Irish EDS and Hypermobility Spectrum Disorders (HSD) in Ireland and says, “we have more than 500 adults and more than 120 kids in the Irish EDS and HSD group, and that is only our group. In 2014 it was estimated there were nearly 2000 people in Ireland who have the condition.”

When Ciara found out she had to travel to Barcelona for the surgery she said, “I just thought it was ridiculous. There is no reason apart from the lack of knowledge why we need to go there.

“It’s a choice to learn about it, and with so many people with EDS in Ireland it isn’t comprehensible that people who can help don’t have an interest in it.”

As there is no treatment available to EDS patients in Ireland, many people like Ciara are forced to travel to the UK for checkups, as well as specialist advice and treatment.

Raising funds for a life-saving surgical procedure, Ciara hopes to make the trip to Barcelona, Spain which is the only European city to carry our the cervical fusion surgery Ciara needs. This operation would need to happen this March 2018 so she needs to raise the funds before then.

“In Ireland, they can do cervical fusion procedures, but not on an EDS patient, never mind somebody with as many complications as I have – blood pressure problems, heart problems, and my blood does not clot.

“You have to take into consideration the EDS and being resistant to the anesthesia, so they have to do a lot to make it work.”

After the surgery, aged just 16, Ciara will never be able to move her neck again, or move her head up, down, left or right.

Ciara said, “When I found out about the surgery I thought I’d be more scared than I was. But I sort of knew that it was coming, it’s hard to explain it, but it was happening in my own body, so I felt it was coming. My mum broke down, and I just said, okay let’s do this. I was ready to make a change for the better.”

Time is of the essence for Ciara now as the next available procedure is in March, leaving her with just over one month to raise more than €70,000 by the time of writing this article.

“We have a lot of people helping so far, so it’s very enlightening to see so many people actually care and try to help. There are people in Glasgow and Lanzarote helping us raise funds,” said Ciara, with her mum adding, “We are very fortunate.”

If Ciara misses the surgery in March, Anne says, “Ciara can’t be in Spain when we go into the hot weather when she is recuperating as one her comorbidities is she can’t cope with extreme heat, she passes out.”

If the surgery is moved back to November, Anne says, “that takes away another year of her life. And she has had enough years gone already.”

“If anybody would like to help raise funds by doing their own event in Ciara’s honour, please get in contact as we would be very grateful,” Anne concluded.

If you would like to donate to Ciara’s EDS surgery fund, you can visit www.gofundme.com/ciaraeds or contact Anne at [email protected]

See their Facebook page CiarasFight for more info.

For more stories on fundraising in Limerick click here

Lolas Ball Act for Menengitis fundraiser is a huge success!

At Lolas Ball Act for Menengitis fundraiser – Richard with Leanne Moore, Siobhan Carroll, Founder of Act for Menengitis, Ruth Melling, Lola’s mam, Leah Melling, Lola’s sister, Dawn McGoldrick, Act for Meningitis, Hollie Nagle, Lola’s sister and Ross Nagle, Lola’s dad. Picture: Dolf Patijn/ilovelimerick.

Lolas Ball, an evening to remember Lola Jane Nagle took place this past Saturday in the Greenhills Hotel in aid of ACT for Meningitis. Richard Lynch of I Love Limerick was honoured to host the event with his good friend Leanne Moore and the night was very emotional, filled with love and a huge success!

On April 15 last year one family’s whole world was turned upside down when they tragically and suddenly lost their precious little girl Lola, aged just 17 months, to meningitis.  Nothing could have prepared them for the devastation that losing a child would cause. Since then the family have worked tirelessly to prevent another family from going through their nightmare. Lola’s family wants to ensure that no one faces the meningitis journey alone.

Last June, an unbelievable crowd gathered today the AllStar Ink tattoo parlour, in Limerick City, for a Lola Nagle ACT for Meningitis Fundraiser. €19,924.28 was raised after a number of people donated money, or paid to get butterfly tattoos, in aid of the ACT for Meningitis organisation.

“We never thought meningitis would affect us but it did,” says event organiser and Lolas sister, the inspirational 17 year old Leah Melling.  “We organised this ball to remember our beautiful little butterfly Lola, and to raise funds, but also to raise awareness of Meningitis because knowing the signs and symptoms may just save a life.  We have been overwhelmed by the support we have received from the people of Limerick.”

ACT for Meningitis is a national meningitis support and awareness charity based in Galway.  Set up in 2011 by Siobhan and Noel Carroll following the loss of their 4-year-old daughter Aoibhe to this devastating disease. ACT for Meningitis aims to raise awareness, promote education and provide free support to anyone in Ireland affected by meningitis.

Entertainment was provided by Voice of Ireland contestant Niall O’ Halloran, Ciara Meade, lead singer of the well-known Limerick band Funk Junkies, MizDrea, Tiny Giants and upcoming singer songwriter Aaron Hackett, magician Steve Spade and comedienne Al Foran. Guests then danced the night away with DJs Ian McLoughlin and Party Marty.

People, who did not attend the ball, can still make a difference and offer their support to ACT for Meningitis.

Support Act for Meningitis here

Find Lolas Ball on Facebook

Read more on the I Love Limerick site here

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Sparkle and Shine Ball in association with Keith Duffy Foundation

Sparkle and Shine Ball in association with Keith Duffy Foundation – Pictured left to right – Keith Duffy, Leanne Moore, Celia Holman Lee, Lisa Duffy, Miriam O’Callaghan, Terry Ring, Jessica Mc Gurk, Richard Lynch, Brendan Ring. Picture: Dolf Patijn/ilovelimerick.

Sparkle and Shine ball in association with Keith Duffy Foundation had to be one of the most glamorous events to take place in Limerick this year and was a successful night. The ball was a star studded event with well known faces such as Miriam O’Callaghan, the patron of Clionas Foundation, Keith Duffy representing the Keith Duffy Foundation, Celia Holman Lee and Leanne Moore, one of the ambassadors of the Cliona Foundation.

The night began in the main lobby of the Limerick Strand Hotel where the elegant and extremely well dressed guests were greeted with prosecco and a tiered Ferrero Roche pyramid. The Unity Gospel Choir Limerick sang their hearts out and really set the tone for the evening, which was just spectacular.Sparkle and Shine Ball in association with the Keith Duffy

The guests gasped as they entered the main reception area as the room was completely transformed into a wonderland. This year the Sparkle and Shine initiative and the Keith Duffy Foundation, founded by Keith Duffy, decided to join forces to raise funds for their respective chosen charities and to give the Midwest region a night that has become one of the most high-profile events of this year.

The entertainment was never ending with Cole Page flying in from England for the night to perform. The guest were on their feet and then on their chairs very literally as Cold Page created an incredible atmosphere in the room.

In addition to Cole Page phenomenal performance, the Multi Award Winning Classical Singer, Amanda Neri will also be performing. Amanda has captivated audiences in such venues in Ireland as The Helix, Cork Opera House, Fota House, Bantry House, Longueville House, Siamsa Tire Theatre, Cork City Hall. Sparkle and Shine Ball in association with the Keith Duffy

The giving never ended on the night as the tombola raffle rose a whopping €4,000 alone. Then Keith Duffy took to the stage along with his trusty assistant Richard Lynch to start the auction! Members of the audience really dug deep for the charities as there was more than €35,000 for Clionas Foundation, Symptomatic Breast Unit and Mid Western Cancer Foundation.

Some of the auction prizes included his and hers Calvin Klein watches from Keanes Jeweler’s in Limerick and Bruce Springsteen tickets, afternoon tea in the Westbury hotel and a stay in the five star Conrad Hotel, Framed drawing by Martin Finnin with signed book of his works and concert tickets to concerts such as Macklemore and Ryan Lewis and Little Mix.

The Keith Duffy Foundation has chosen Cliona’s Foundation to be their chosen charity for its inaugural event in Limerick. The aim of Cliona’s Foundation is to give financial support to families of children with life limiting illnesses, to help them pay for the vast amount of non-medical costs associated with caring for a seriously ill child, “I’m delighted to help raise funds for Cliona’s Foundation for the work they do, it is something that’s close to my heart as I have seen the financial burden on families caring for a critically ill child and as part of my work with the Keith Duffy Foundation which aims to provide support and financial assistance to a number of chosen children’s charities throughout the country. I am also thrilled that Miriam O Callaghan, a much respected broadcaster and the official patron of my chosen charity Cliona’s Foundation, is coming to show her support on the night.” Sparkle and Shine Ball in association with the Keith Duffy

The night was a complete success and the guest who attended partied on into the late hours having given back to these well-deserved charities. We cannot wait to see what next years event will be like and wish all the charities the best of luck!

 

You can follow Clionas foundation on twitter and facebook
You can also check out the Keith Duffy Foundation website, here
You can follow Keith on Twitter
For more related articles by I Love Limerick, click here 

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Climb for Style at the ultimate Ladies Luncheon in aid of Our Ladys Childrens Hospital Crumlin

Will O’Brien (Be Fabulous), Sharon Tucker (Style Columnist), Asta Lee (Asta Lee Personal Development, Padraic Frawley (Cornstore Limerick), Richard Lynch (ILovelimerick), Sinead Clohessy (Specsavers Limerick). Photo: Jonathon Baynes/ilovelimerick

Specsavers Limerick is thrilled to announce that they are hosting an exclusive ladies luncheon Climb for Style in aid of Crumlin Children’s Hospital on Friday April 15th 2016, in the Cornstore, on Thomas Street in Limerick. All proceeds from the event, hosted by Richard Lynch of ‘I Love Limerick’, will go towards the refurbishment of The Department of Ophthalmology in Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital, Crumlin.

Sinead Clohessy, Chairperson of Specsavers Ireland said, “This year is an extra special year for the Specsavers Limerick stores, as Limerick native and Specsavers staff member Tony Power has pledged to climb to base camp of Mount Everest this June, for Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital, Crumlin. Tony’s incredible generosity and determination will see the money raised from his initiative going towards the refurbishment of The Department of Ophthalmology, which typically diagnoses and treats over 10,000 children annually, making it one of the busiest departments within the hospital.”

Specsavers Limerick is encouraging locals to climb on board with the store’s efforts and join them for the ultimate ladies day out. Kicking off at midday, guests will have the chance to win a covetable selection of prizes as they enjoy a day of relaxation, fun, music and fashion.

Upon arrival, guests will be greeted with a glass of prosecco. Once seated, guests will be served a delicious three course meal and entertained with all things glamourous for the day. If that’s not enough, Limerick’s favourite style and beauty gurus will be on hand to talk to guests about the latest trends, whilst sharing insider top tips and tricks.

One of Limerick’s most vibrant personalities, Richard Lynch will be your host for the day. Joining him will be fashion guru Will O’Brien, make up expert Fiona McNamara, style columnist Sharon Tucker and skincare specialist Ita O’Donnell.

Will O Brien from Be Fabulous Limerick will be talking you through how to select that all-important special occasion gown. Asta Lee from the Asta Lee Development Agency will join Will to give tips on how to find that perfect pose.

Fiona McNamara has become a household name in the Irish makeup industry as she has done many workshops for Irish blogger Suzanne Jackson aka SoSueMe. Fiona will be advising all you ladies on makeup bag essentials for everyday beauty. Ita O’Donnell of the Otto Clinic, will be talking you through skincare tips and how to get that healthy glow before summer.

Sharon Tucker, Limerick Chronicle style columnist, will be helping all you ladies with dressing for your body shape and embracing your curves.

Climb for Style at the ultimate Ladies Luncheon in aid of Our Ladys Childrens Hospital Crumlin

Asta Lee (Asta Lee Personal Development), Sinead Clohessy (Specsavers Limerick), Sharon Tucker (Style Columnist), Will O’Brien (Be Fabulous), Richard Lynch (ILovelimerick), Photo: Jonathon Baynes/ilovelimerick.

At the event Specsavers will also be launching the highly anticipated new Love Moschino eyewear collection and Kay Mulcair, owner of The K Boutique will be on hand introducing the new Love Moschino clothing collection for Spring/Summer.

The Climb for Style Ladies Luncheon in aid of Crumlin Children’s Hospital takes place on Friday April 15th 2016 at noon, in the Cornstore, Thomas Street, Limerick. Tickets are priced at €75 and are available to buy online at [email protected] or call Dee at 085 111 6514.

Follow the hasgtag #LimerickClimbForCrumlin on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook for event updates.

Butterfly Ball 2015

The Mid-Western Cancer Foundation’s annual Butterfly Ball is considered one of the high profile events of the Mid West area social calendar.  This year has been difficult from a financial point of view for everybody personally and professionally. This continues to be true for the HSE where funding and resources remain restricted. Indeed the Director General of the HSE has accepted the adverse impact on patient care.

The aim in the Mid-Western Cancer Foundation is to complement and cooperate with the HSE to assist the regional Cancer Services in areas such as purchasing of equipment, funding research, and continuing education that is necessary to support our designated national Cancer Centre. The Foundation also helps to create awareness of cancer in the Mid-West region and to the run the Support Centre.

The Foundation continues to receive considerable donations from those individuals who have been treated in our Centre and also their families and friends who have been affected by their experience.  The presence of the Mid-Western Cancer Centre has enabled the majority of patients to be treated locally thus remaining at home with support from family, friends and health professionals within the region.  

The last 12 months of fundraising has been difficult as experienced by all charities. Nevertheless, significant funds have been used to maintain and improve the quality of care to patients at the Cancer Centre by providing, for example;

  • Recliner Chairs in Day Ward- €20,500•Software for Prostate Imaging – €20,000
  • Paxman Cooler – Hair Loss prevention €12,500
  • Chairs polished and upholstered – Oncology Reception and clinic €3,600
  • Armchairs in Ward 4B – €7,666
  • Funding for additional medical staff – €17,811

In total, over €80,000 has been raised.

Funding is also used on an ongoing basis to support the Cancer Information and Support Centre. Here, the foundation aims to complement the medical treatment by the provision of psychological and counselling support with access to services such as complimentary therapies and support groups. This is in conjunction with the Irish Cancer Society. We hope to be just as successful for the next year so that we can maintain all the services currently provided.

The number of people who are being diagnosed in this region is increasing and will continue to increase.  In the current environment we need your support more than ever to help us ensure the continuing management of our patients with cancer.

Details about this year’s Butterfly Ball 2015:

This years Butterfly Ball 2015, was held on Saturday 3rd of October in the  Radisson Blu Hotel & Spa, Ennis Road, Limerick.

Tickets were €90 per person which included:

A champagne reception with the Dolmen String quartet.

  • A 4 course meal, 
  • Complimentary professional photography from Michael Martin photography
  • Gift bags from  Lorraine O’Connell at No15 Le Maison De Curio
  • Special entertainment – Las Vegas Casino with HIYA Events featuring Elvis Presley and DJ James Sexton, 
  • Raffle on the night with great spot prizes. 

Tickets were available from the Mid-Western Cancer Foundation office at the Cancer Information & Support Centre  or  online.

Thanks go to Brian Harrington, from the Radisson Blu Hotel, for sponsoring the Butterfly Ball 2015 press launch, and the staff and the George Boutique Hotel for hosting the event.

Visit the Mid-West Cancer Foundation website, to buy tickets here

Read more about the Butterfly Ball here

Read more about Limerick charities here