Monday 25 September 2017

'I’ll do my best not to cry' - Mum's plea to raise life-changing funds for daughter with debilitating condition

Little Tilara (6) was diagnosed with spastic diplegia cerebral palsy when she was 12 months old.
Little Tilara (6) was diagnosed with spastic diplegia cerebral palsy when she was 12 months old.
Jason Kennedy

Jason Kennedy

A Cork-based mother is desperately seeking funds to send her daughter to America for life-changing surgery.

Little Tilara Costa-Holmes (6) was diagnosed with spastic diplegia cerebral palsy when she was 12-months-old. This condition means she is in ongoing pain and struggles to even crawl from one place to another.

Despite this, her mother Natasha says she is a very optimistic child, even though she realises the challenges facing her.

"She is a happy child and content, but she has limitations. It’s hard for her," Natasha told Independent.ie.

"At the moment, she would crawl on the floor. When she walks with her walker, we have to help her if her legs cross.

"It’s not easy. I don’t know if you ever get over it."

Natasha, who has lived in Midleton since 2013, says her daughter is starting to become apologetic for her limitations.

"She would be apologetic when I take her the bathroom. She's started saying: ‘I’m sorry I can’t do it myself'," Natasha said.

"I'd always explain to her that it's okay and that we'll do everything that we can to make it better."

Natasha, who is originally from South Africa, said she is very proud of her young daughter's positive outlook and determination.

"In the mornings, when she walks in the walker, she says to me: 'today mommy, I will do my best and I won't cry and if my legs cross, I'll try to fix them'."

In recent months, Tilara has been accepted for life-changing SDR surgery in America, which would involve cutting some of the nerve fibers that cause the spasticity in Cerebral Palsy.

This operation and the rehabilitation which follows comes with a €140,000 price tag, which the family has to raise before August this year. So far, between fundraising and events held in the community, Natasha has raised €22,000.

"For Tilara, the outcome we hope for is a pain-free life.

"The people in Midleton have been great and very supportive in organising events for Tilara. We couldn't do it without them."

To donate to Tilara's campaign, visit her Go Fund Me page here.

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