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21 Jan 2022

Make-A-Wish brings joy to Longford boy’s life in lockdown

Make-A-Wish is asking the public to get behind their campaign to celebrate all our special Mums this ‘Wish Week’.

Supported by SPAR and culminating on Mother’s Day, Wish Week is an appeal to the public to help bring joy to seriously ill children, and their families across Ireland, by making a donation.

Last year, Make-A-Wish Ireland experienced significant disruption to both their fundraising activities, and their ability to grant wishes.

However, despite the necessary lockdowns and restrictions, they were still able to grant 56 wishes to children across the country, including five-year-old Darragh Hopkins, who wished for something to play with outside and was delighted to receive a beautiful garden tower.

“Darragh was diagnosed with stage four Hepatoblastoma, which is a liver disease, in 2017 when he was just 18 months old,” Catherine Hopkins and her husband, Paul, from Ballinalee explained.

Darragh received chemotherapy and was treated by a fantastic team in Crumlin Children’s Hospital. He also had surgery in London and returned home for more chemotherapy. His treatment finished in February 2018.

“We were told this was a cancer that doesn’t usually return but a year later, it returned in his lungs, so he needed more surgery and more treatment,” said Catherine.

“That was when we were contacted by Make-A-Wish. But with lockdown and it being such a strange year - and because he was so young -we didn't know if his wish would be granted.

“Make-A-Wish have a few meetings with the children, so Darragh’s wish granter, Lucy, met with him and he wished for something to play outside and in November 2020 it arrived.

“He absolutely loves his new garden tower and so do our other two boys, Aaron and Cathal.”

Darragh is doing very well now, his parents explained. His most recent check-up was in January and everything was great.

Unfortunately, there are now over 200 seriously ill children throughout the country, who are anxiously waiting for their wishes to be granted.

As Make-A-Wish does not receive any government funding, the organisation is asking the public to donate at www.makeawish.ie to make the wishes of other children like Darragh come true.

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